Be alert at railroad crossings
Sept. 22, 2002
The tragic collision of a southbound Amtrak train and an 18-wheeler headed out of a Meridian industrial complex on Friday is another reminder that railroad crossings are dangerous. We do not presume to place fault in this latest incident; an investigation will likely make that official determination.
What we can do is remind each other as responsible drivers to be alert at all times, especially in the vicinity of railroad crossings. Grade-level crossings can be particularly risky, even with all of the appropriate safety precautions.
The speed of an on coming train is deceptive, whether it's going 10 mph or 100 mph. From a head-on view, it's virtually impossible to make an accurate judgment of how fast the train is moving and how many seconds will pass before it reaches your position.
The safest, indeed, the only appropriate course is to let the train pass. After all, a few minutes delay is much better than a lifetime of regret.