Law enforcement officers are zeroing in on safety at railroad crossings as part of “Operation Lifesaver Day” in Iowa. Jim Ewalt, spokesman for I-and-M Rail Link Safety and Security in Mason City, says motorists need to use caution at railroad crossings. He says pay attention to the warning signals and look for trains. He says make a good stop, and don’t go around lowered gates.Some motorists don’t realize it can take a train one-and-a-half miles to stop. Ewalt says the number of people seen violating railroad crossing laws has dwindled since the start of the Operation Lifesaver program almost a decade ago. Still, Ewalt says far too many people are dying in vehicle-train accidents in Iowa. Sixteen people died in such collisions in 2001, with only six fatalities in 2000. There have already been four this year in the state. Ewalt reminds everyone that railroad property is private property. He says some people might want to walk on railroad tracks this summer, but he says it’s dangerous and illegal.Nationwide, more than 400 people die every year in railroad crossing collisions. For more information on Operation Lifesaver, surf to “www.oli.org”.
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