Central Arkansas Operation Impact Traffic Enforcement Group-Railroad Crossing Safety Initiative

OperationImpactGroupLogoDuring the month of August member agencies of the Central Arkansas Operation Impact Traffic Enforcement Group will conduct a month long traffic initiative focusing on railroad crossing safety and pedestrians trespassing on railroad property. 
Did you know according to Operation Lifesaver, a national non-profit organization, a vehicle or person is hit by a train every three hours in the United States?   According to the Federal Railroad Administration statistics for 2014 67% of all highway –rail grade crossing collisions in the United States occurred in just 15 states.  Sadly the Arkansas was ranked in this list at number 15.  These same statistics indicated 73% of all highway-rail crossing fatalities for 2014 occurred in just 15 states again Arkansas is in that list at number 14.  What’s more concerning a comparison of the Federal Railroad Administration’s 2013 data to its 2014 data showed Arkansas had a 51% increase in highway –rail grade crossing collisions and a 75% increase in highway-rail crossing fatalities.  
What the above statics are actually saying is when it comes to a train verses vehicle collision the train always wins. For a better perspective the average weight ratio of a train to a car is about 4,000 to 1.  This is ratio is roughly equal to an average car to an aluminum can.  We all know what happens when a car runs over an aluminum can.  So when driving and you approach a highway –rail grade crossing and the railroad crossing signal indicates an approaching train stop, wait for the train to pass, and proceed to cross when the railroad crossing signal is no longer flashing.  
Remember a train cannot stop quickly and when the brakes are applied on a train in order for it to come to a complete stop it will have traveled about a mile.   It is just not worth the risk to try to beat an approaching train at a crossing, it is against the law and you will be cited if caught.  Finally all railroad property is private property and it is against law for pedestrians to use any part of the railroad as a short cut, place to walk, ride bikes on, fish from its bridges, etc.  If you are caught you will be cited and or possibly arrested for criminal trespass.
The Central Arkansas Operation Impact Traffic Enforcement Group is comprised of 16 Central Arkansas law enforcement agencies, including the Benton Police Department, which was formed due to a need to identify and discuss traffic related issues common to all member agencies and come up with a course of action to deal with the identified problem. In the end, our goal is to look out for your safety.