This is National Rail Safety Week. And I can think of no better way to kick it off than with an averted strike last Friday. RIGHT ON!
Although, with no trains running it would be a pretty safe week. Think that is insignificant? Know this, every three hours a train collides with a truck or car. Every three hours…
The thing is, it is pretty easy to avoid these often deadly accidents.
One of the many helpful tips you will find at Operation Lifesaver’s website Oli.org is that most rail crossings will have a little blue sign that has an emergency number to call along with the crossing’s exact identification information.
I never knew this until last year’s Rail Safety Week and now it is one of those jokes with my family. You know, the dad thing, “Every time we cross the train tracks dad talks about the blue sign. Run at a 45-degree angle in the direction of the train.” Bet you didn’t know that one.
I also did not realize that more than half of the accidents occur at crossings with lights, bells and gates. How stupid are we?
You can see all kinds of videos of near misses and obviously fatal impacts between trucks and trains. Yes, also cars, but hell brother, trucker drivers should know better.
There are those that have lost their lives through no fault of their own and for those souls and their families, I say a prayer. The engineers on the other side of that impact need our thoughts and prayers as well. They watch the whole thing unfold with no way to avoid what they know is coming.
Imagine that situation. Piloting a train down the track with some truck, car or person on the tracks while you crank the brake, lean on the horn, all the while knowing that you are not stopping for a solid mile past the point of impact.
Trains are not to be toyed with. They do not stop on a dime and even being around the tracks is dangerous business.
If you look in Wikipedia you will find all kinds of ghost stories about phantom trains. Fun stuff to read, I think. Ghost stories that is. Myths and legends are awesome. My favorite are stories about Bigfoot.
But, then you read about Iredell County, North Carolina. A group of curious people, not kids, waited by the tracks to witness the ghost train that passed by on the anniversary of its fatal wreck in 1891.
In August 2010, a 29-year-old was in that group and was killed by a real train. Not a ghost train.
Visit oli.org and learn more.
Peace and Love!