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'Stop, look and listen': Warner Robins Police share train safety tips

Interim Assistant Chief Wayne Fisher says to remember to stop look and listen

WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — The Warner Robins Police Department says most train collisions are preventable, including the one that happened Wednesday afternoon when a Norfolk Southern train slammed into a a flatbed truck that stopped on the tracks on Watson boulevard and Highway 247.

In the Georgia, there are more than 5,000 railroad crossings, so it's likely that you cross over some tracks in your daily commute. 

"I drive over them everyday. Monday through Friday on my way to the base," Roy Hayward said.

According to the Federal Railroad Administration, Georgia ranks number six for most railroad crossing collisions nationwide. 

Haywards says he understands why. 

"Just in case the line come down, I always wait behind the line, but I've noticed a lot of people will go over the tracks," he said.

After Wednesdays train collision, Interim Assistant Chief Wayne Fisher says it's important to be cautious. 

"Stop, look and listen before you proceed to cross the railroad crossing," he said.

Fisher says you should stop at every crossing. Slow down when you see the gate arms begin to lower, and if you come to a crossing that doesn't have these, then stop no closer than 15 feet behind the tracks. 

You should also look for painted lines. 

"The block lines that are painted on the road way are placed there with purpose to create a safe point for a vehicle to be parked away from the intersection to prevent such matters from occurring," Fisher said.

After that you should look and pay attention to warning signals.

"Stop before the railroad tracks look left, look right, make sure you don't have a train preceding along the track," Fisher said.

Drivers should also listen for the sound of an approaching train and other warning sounds. Fisher says you also never want to stop on tracks 

"If you stop and stand on the railroad track you will be at fault for any incidents that occurs on those tracks," he said.

Trains travelling 50 miles an hour can take a mile or more to come to a complete stop. 

"What I would encourage every motorist to understand, the train has the right of way on the railroad tracks. It's in your best interest not to put yourself or your vehicle in any type of jeopardy when competing with a locomotive,  it will win," Fisher said.

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