Peterson, Berk & Cross, S.C.
Specializing In You
Menu Contact

How to stay safe around railroad crossings

There were 12 injuries and two deaths around railroad crossings in Wisconsin last year, and eight more people died while trespassing on railroad tracks. State officials are trying to get those numbers down to zero by raising awareness during Rail Safety Week, which kicked off in Wisconsin on Monday with an event at Ashwaubenon's National Railroad Museum.

The average locomotive weights about 200 tons, or about 100 times as much as an average car, according to Operation Lifesaver, a rail safety education nonprofit. There's no question who will win in a face-off. And of course, a motorcycle, bicycle or pedestrian stands even less of a chance. Because of this, it's important to be especially cautious around railroad crossings. Here are some of the safety tips offered by Operation Lifesaver.

Safety for drivers

  • Don't race trains. If you see a train approaching, wait for it to pass before crossing the tracks.
  • If there's no gate or stop sign, be sure you stop at least 15 feet away from the tracks.
  • Look both ways before you cross the tracks, then move quickly across.
  • If you stall while crossing and see a train approaching, get out of your car right away and move away from the tracks as fast as you can. Move in the direction the train is approaching from to avoid being hit by flying debris when the train hits your car.

Safety for pedestrians and bikers

  • This should go without saying, but don't trespass. Railroad tracks are private property and walking on them is illegal - not to mention dangerous.
  • Cross only at designated pedestrian crossings.
  • After a train passes, wait before crossing to make sure a second train isn't following.
  • Be alert: take out headphones and don't use your phone while crossing.
  • Step over, not onto, the tracks. If you're biking, it's better to walk your bike across the tracks to avoid getting your wheels caught between the rails. Be especially careful if the tracks are wet.

Remember, trains always have the right of way, even over emergency vehicles. And as we head into fall, keep in mind that the danger only increases with bad weather.  

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Tell Us About Your Case!

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

email us for a response
appleton office map

Appleton Office
200 East College Avenue
Appleton, WI 54911

Phone: 920-831-0300
Fax: 920-831-0165
Appleton Law Office Map

Green Bay Office
300 N. Broadway
Suite 1A
Green Bay, WI 54303

Phone: 920-432-3883
Fax: 920-432-3885
Map & Directions

greenbay office map