Years ago, many area railroad crossings did not have gates and lights. And many people died at crossings.
Over the years, Archbold exercised political clout, reached out to our contacts, and today, all of our area crossings have gates and lights.
And since then, no one has died.
But the fact that gates and lights exist does not absolve motorists from being cautious at railroad crossings.
Consider Katie Lund, a 26-yearold Chicago woman who was killed Friday, April 16, in University Park, Ill., at a crossing equipped with gates and lights.
What happened? The gates and lights at that crossing didn’t work.
The Chicago Breaking News website, which is affiliated with the Chicago Tribune, spoke to one of those investigating the case.
The investigator, who asked to remain anonymous, said a track crew accidentally turned off the crossing gates and lights. It was a human error, the unnamed investigator said.
Katie Lund died.
Before you cross railroad tracks, be cautious and look for approaching trains. The gates and lights might be working–but maybe not.
You should also make sure there’s at least a full car length of space on the other side of the tracks before you drive onto the crossing.
Isn’t it better to be safe than sorry?
As Warren Flatau, spokesman for the Federal Railroad Administration in Washington, says, “Remember: always expect a train.”