Crackdown on the tracks: Orlando police issue warnings for railway safety week

Officers issue $164 citations

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Orlando Police Department is issuing a stern reminder about the dangers of drivers stopping on or near railroad crossings.

Early Tuesday, officers were running an enforcement detail at the crossing on East Colonial Drive, which has previously had issues with traffic backing up onto the tracks.

“There are vehicles constantly going back and forth,” Master Officer Lee Sahs said. “It is one of the busiest in the city of Orlando and therefore makes it one of the most dangerous.”

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According to police, Florida reported 135 collisions between trains and vehicles in 2019, which was the third-highest in the nation.

To help reduce the number of crashes, officers handed out a warning or a $164 citation to drivers who stopped within 15 feet of the railroad crossing.

“You have to allow at least 15 feet before entering a railroad crossing. Basically, we would like you to treat it just like an intersection,” Sahs said.

The rail safety enforcement came a day after a crash involving a vehicle and a SunRail train in South Orange County.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, a 55-year-old driver received minor injuries when the front of her car was struck on Lancaster Road near Orange Avenue.

Tuesday’s operation by Orlando Police was part of National Rail Safety Week, which runs from Sept. 21 through Sept. 27.

For more details about the nationwide safety effort, click here.

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