Officers fight to stop accidents on the tracks

Union Pacific, police team up to enforce rail crossing safety

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Union Pacific Railroad Police and the Jonesboro Police Department teamed up Monday to promote railroad safety.

From the cab of a locomotive, officers were able to observe drivers’ behavior at railroad crossings.

Many people are unaware of how long it takes a train to actually come to a stop. Freight trains traveling at 55 miles per hour take more than a mile to stop.

The exercise focused on the importance of drivers stopping in designated areas where there are railroad signals, flashers, and gates that indicate a train is approaching.

It was created as part of Union Pacific’s Crossing Accident Reduction Education and Safety program, also know as UP CARES.

Jonesboro police officers like Tony Zaffarano hope that the combined effort will save lives.

“We’ve had a couple accidents already this year involving trains versus vehicles," Zaffarano said. "So, we just want to make sure that people are safe and that they don’t get in an accident.”

Drivers are reminded to follow rail-related traffic laws designed to keep them safe.

Officers can issue a citation and approach pedestrians who disregard rail safety laws.

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