Southeast Mo. drivers push for safer railroad crossings following Amtrak crash

Southeast Missouri drivers are pushing for safer railroad crossings after an Amtrak crash killed four people.
Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 10:17 PM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - A fatal train crash near Kanas City has caused folks in the Heartland to push for safer railway crossings near them.

Driving past a railroad crossing is nothing new in southeast Missouri; however, days after a fatal Amtrak crash in Mendon, Mo. people said they have one common concern.

“They really need to get the lights and some indication that that there’s a track,” Mary Martin, one driver said.

“I wish they put arms up on the ones that don’t have them,” Kyle Stearns, another driver said.

They’re talking about public crossings with no lights or gates and with signs that are easy to miss.

“If you’re not paying attention you might run into one,” Jerry Martin said.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, there are more than 3,000 level crossings in Mo.

About 50 percent look like this one, with active lights and or gates. The other half don’t have the same signals.

“I usually try to look one way or the other and just go on about it. What else can you do?” Jerry Martin said.

“I’ve done it. I’ve ran right out in front of them because I didn’t check very well. It was very scary. I could have been killed right there,” Mary Martin said.

MoDOT officials say Dunklin, Howell, Stoddard, and Butler County will be reviewed for safety based on factors like train traffic and speed, and vehicle traffic and speed.

Drivers said they believe it’s time.

“If they don’t have arms on the crossing then I don’t see how anybody could be ok with it,” Stearns said.

MoDOT officials said crossings will be reviewed to determine if improvements are warranted and if so, what improvements are planned.

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