Union Pacific is sounding the alarm on an increase of unsafe motorist behavior by railroad crossings in Fremont.
Railroad engineers voiced concerns on recent ‘too-close’ calls of drivers speeding through the tracks as freight trains approached railroad crossings.
To encourage drivers to stop in designated areas where flashers and gates indicate a train is approaching, Union Pacific has brought its ‘UP Cares’ program to Fremont. The program is a collaborative effort between local law enforcement and Union Pacific to monitor driver and pedestrian behavior at railroad crossings.
The program, which is implemented in 23 states, has law enforcement officers riding inside the locomotive monitoring pedestrians crossing or walking on the tracks and drivers racing over the tracks, while dispatch officers are positioned nearby. Those officers will ticket those who ignore the warning lights or cross after the crossing arms are going down. The fines are at least one-hundred dollars.
“We’re doing this throughout the year – morning, night, middle of the day, whatever we have to do to help educate the public about being careful when they approach the railroad tracks,” says Raquel Espinoza, Director of Corporate Communications for Union Pacific.
“To make an emergency stop, it can take freight trains traveling up to 55 mph before coming a complete stop,” adds Espinoza. “The train can only go forward – so it’s important drivers respect the train and railroad crossing signals.”