FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
This morning, the Springfield Police Department partnered with BNSF Railroad officers, the Greene County Sheriff’s Office and the Missouri State Highway Patrol in Operation Lifesaver, a program aimed toward rail safety education.
Operation Lifesaver’s mission is to end collisions, deaths and injuries at highway-rail grade crossings and on rail property through a nationwide network of volunteers who work to educate people about rail safety. Law enforcement officers took part in this education process through enforcement of the Springfield city ordinance and Missouri state statute against violating motorists. Officers were positioned in areas near signaled railroad crossings and were also riding area trains. 17 traffic stops were made due to violations being observed in proximity to a monitored crossing. 10 tickets were issued along with 12 warnings. One person was arrested for unrelated outstanding warrants during one of the traffic stops.
The BNSF Railroad, the Springfield Police Department, the Greene County Sheriff’s Office and the Missouri State Highway Patrol would like to remind motorists of the legal requirements involving how to properly approach and cross train tracks.
1. When any person driving a vehicle approaches a railroad grade crossing, the driver of the vehicle shall operate the vehicle in a manner so he will be able to stop, and he shall stop the vehicle not less than fifteen feet and not more than fifty feet from the nearest rail of the railroad track and shall not proceed until he can safely do so if:
- A clearly visible electric or mechanical signal device warns of the approach of a railroad train; or
- A crossing gate is lowered or when a human flagman gives or continues to give a signal or warning of the approach or passage of a railroad train; or
- An approaching railroad train is visible and is in hazardous proximity to such crossing; or
- Any other traffic sign, device or any other act, rule, regulation or statute requires a vehicle to stop at a railroad grade crossing.
2. No person shall drive any vehicle through, around or under any crossing gate or barrier at a railroad crossing when a train is approaching while such gate or barrier is closed or is being opened or closed.
3. No person shall drive a vehicle through a railroad crossing when there is not sufficient space to drive completely through the crossing.
4. No person shall drive a vehicle through a railroad crossing unless such vehicle has sufficient undercarriage clearance necessary to prevent the undercarriage of the vehicle from contacting the railroad crossing.
5. Every commercial motor vehicle as defined in section 302.700 shall, upon approaching a railroad grade crossing, be driven at a rate of speed which will permit said commercial motor vehicle to be stopped before reaching the nearest rail of such crossing and shall not be driven upon or over such crossing until due caution has been taken to ascertain that the course is clear. This section does not apply to vehicles which are required to stop at railroad crossings pursuant to section 304.030.
6. Any person violating the provisions of this section is guilty of a class C misdemeanor.
City Ordinance 106-283
Whenever the driver of a vehicle approaches a railroad grade crossing under any of the circumstances stated in this section, the driver of such vehicle shall stop not less than 15 feet from the nearest rail of such railroad, and shall not proceed until he can do so safely. The foregoing requirements shall apply when:
- A clearly visible electric or mechanical signal device gives warning of the immediate approach of a railroad train.
- A crossing gate is lowered or when a flagman gives a signal of the approach of a train.
- A train approaching within approximately 1,500 feet of the highway crossing emits a signal audible from such distance and such train, by reasons of its speed or nearness to such crossing, is an immediate hazard.
- An approaching train is plainly visible and is in hazardous proximity to such crossing.
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Media Contact: Lisa Cox, Public Affairs Officer
Release authorized by: Lt. Stacey Parton