Highway Rail Grade Crossing Safety

The grade crossing collision rate has fallen most years since 1980, but too many collisions still occur. Virtually all of them are preventable, so the focus should be on educating the public regarding safety at crossings, on engineering solutions (such as closing unneeded crossings and upgrading warning devices) that prevent collisions, and on enforcement of applicable traffic laws.

The federal “Section 130” program, which provides federal funds to states for grade crossing safety enhancements, has helped prevent tens of thousands of injuries and fatalities. Continued dedicated funding of this important program will mean more injuries averted and more lives saved at grade crossings. Decisions on what types of traffic warning devices to put at particular grade crossings are made by state highway authorities, not by railroads.

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