I’m a regular Sunrail critic. After following the debates whether to move forward on the project years ago, I don’t think it’s met it’s potential with ridership numbers, convenience for it’s existing riders, and supporting services to accommodate the trip to and from it’s stations. These are things all of the politicians promised would be here by now.
And then there has been the safety issues at the Sunrail crossings around the tri-county area. People won’t stay off of the tracks.
Now this isn’t all on Sunrail. Drivers won’t listen. I’ve seen cars drive around gates, try to race past tracks before the arms drop, and I’ve seen people on foot stroll over the tracks while the train is less than a football field away.
Luckily, Sunrail is launching a new campaign centered around safety (story HERE) with an emphasis on staying off the tracks.
And the cops are getting involved. They’ll have a presence at Sunrail tracks over the next few days and giving out tickets to drivers that won’t take the safety rules seriously.
That’s great, because it’s the only way people will listen.
They must see an officer of the law and his/her vehicle near the tracks in order for them to think twice about driving their car in front of a moving train.
Sad, but true. They don’t fear death by collision with a speeding train, but they’ll freak out over that ticket.
The problem is that the cops can’t stay at these railroad crossings forever.
This is where the public safety campaigns come in, but if we don’t see a reduction of accidents at these Sunrail crossings, we might have to increase the penalties involved with violating the safety rules.
It’s the same thing with pedestrian safety. You put police officers at crosswalks, everyone starts paying attention, as soon as they leave, both the drivers and walkers will start breaking the rules again.
For now, what matters is that we’re trying and we’re not pretending like these safety problems don’t exist.
And we can’t stop trying.