Penalize rail scofflaws

July 19, 2013 

DN pickup vs train

According to the CHP officer on scene, a man driving the white pickup was stopped on the tracks at the private railroad crossing located between East Ave., and Cortez Ave., along Santa Fe Rd. to look at a map and saw the train coming when he looked up and was able to get out of the pickup without injury before the train hit his vehicle. The train stopped about a mile south of the private drive near Cortez Ave., Friday, March 21, 2008. (Debbie Noda/The Modesto Be

DEBBIE NODA — Modesto Bee

If the penalty for crossing a railroad crossing with the cross-arms down was $1,000, it would be lucrative enough for a private company or some law enforcement branch to invest in surveillance cameras.

One camera could focus on the back plates of cars going one direction, the other camera could be placed on the other cross bar for cars going the opposite direction.

Whenever an engineer or anyone sees a violation, he or she could phone a central location. A private company could call a taxi to pick up the old tape and replace it with a new tape.

Wherever there are cross-arms at railroad crossings, and the weather and view are clear, blowing the train's horn is unnecessary.

We should install the cameras and fine those who go around the gates and fine the people responsible for the stupid law $5 for disturbing the peace when engineers are required to blow their horns even in clear weather each time a train horn is blown.

People who cross railroad crossings should leave five minutes early for every crossing they need to cross.



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