ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – The start of Rail Safety Week kicked off on Monday in Winter Park, where hundreds of Florida commuters take the SunRail.
Florida Department of Transportation spokesperson David Parks said the goal this week is to show drivers across Central Florida just how easy it is to not get hit by a train by simply paying attention to existing road markings and signs.
“Already this year, we’ve had ten incidents involving trains and we are really taking this opportunity to remind drivers, pedestrians (and) bicyclists to take the steps they can and be safe in around the railroad tracks,” Parks said.
Parks explained SunRail trains usually travel up to 79 miles an hour, depending on location and it could take over a mile for a train to come to a complete stop.
“We’ve got lot of rail crossings up and down this 49-mile corridor. We have trains running all hours of the day,” Parks said.
SunRail wants to get results for drivers and is promoting safety videos on social media. There, drivers can learn how to look for the “dynamic envelope” and learn when to stop the vehicle before the train comes.
“A lot of (the) time, it’s distracted drivers or people just being impatient and really that’s where we want to draw our attention to this week... it just takes a few moments that could save your life,” Parks said.
FDOT’s tips on how to stay safe on the road are listed below.
- Stand at least 25 feet away from tracks
- Avoid distractions near the tracks
- Obey railroad signs and signals
- Do not walk or place objects on the tracks
- Report trespassers and unsafe conditions
Rail Safety Week runs from Sept. 19-23. For more information on SunRail, visit the website.
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