Police provide education about railroad crossing laws during Union Pacific operation

(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - Several drivers and pedestrians were reminded about railroad crossing laws in Paragould Wednesday morning.

Union Pacific Railroad's police agents teamed up with the Paragould Police Department to catch people breaking those laws.

The event was part of Union Pacific's Crossing Accident Reduction Education and Safety Program, called UP CARES.

An officer rode on a train from 8 a.m. until around 11 a.m., letting nearby police know if drivers ignored signals or drove around railroad crossing arms.

"There are passive warning devices, which could be a stop sign or a yield sign and there are active warning devices, which are lights and gates," Union Pacific Public Relations Director Brandon Morris said. "We want to make sure that people, when they approach a passive warning device, that they stop or if they see a yield sign they yield. That's very important as well."

Railroad officials want drivers to understand that those warning signals are there to protect them from a train that cannot stop quickly.

"We really are doing this in the interest of public safety," Morris said. "We want to make sure that people know what's going on and just because an officer is stopping you during one of these types of operations, most of the time it's to educate you and make sure you don't make the same mistake twice."

This is the second concentrated police effort to educate about railroad crossings in Paragould over the past six months.

Morris said he believes they saw fewer infractions on Wednesday than during the first program in October.

It was up to the officer's discretion whether a ticket or warning was given during the operation.

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