September 21st-27th Was Rail Safety Week
September 21st to September 27th is Rail Safety Week (RSW) in 2020. Working in partnership with the Department of Transportation (DOT), a non profit organization called Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI) is attempting to raise awareness about the need for increased railroad safety.
Rail Safety Weeks is a little bit different this year—virtual activities and observations are being emphasized due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In this article, our West Palm Beach railroad accident lawyers discuss the threat of railroad collisions and highlight the goals of rail safety week.
Railroad Accidents are a Serious Public Safety Problem—Motorists and Pedestrians at Risk
Railroad accidents are a public safety hazard in the United States. It is a particularly significant issue for South Florida, which has the unfortunate and dubious distinction of being home to the nation’s deadliest stretch of railroad. Running from West Palm to Miami, the Brightline (Virgin Trains USA) saw nearly 40 deaths in a two-year period.
The Virgin Trains USA line is certainly not an outlier. There are many other dangerous railroad lines and railroad crossings all across the country. Tragically, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reports that approximately 600 Americans are killed and 2,300 are seriously injured in train-crossing accidents each year.
Rail Safety Week: Three Ways to Improve Railroad Crossing Safety
Rail Safety Week is an important effort to promote greater safety at and around railroad crossings. Many major companies have stated their support for the initiative. In fact, the Association of American Railroads wants to highlight its goal of making “every week” rail safety week. At the same time, there is no doubt that our country has a long way to go to improve railroad safety. The large train companies must step up and do more if they want to fulfill their stated promises to reduce railroad collisions. Here are three recommendations that public safety have made:
- Install Smart Train Signals: In many parts of the United States, railroad crossing technology is either out of date or downright dilapidated. Companies can better protect motorists and pedestrians with smart signals. Even relatively simple safety improvements, such as installing fencing, can make a dramatic difference.
- Slow Down the Trains: A slow-moving train is a less dangerous train. In heavily trafficked areas, public safety advocates recommend slowing down trains. A relatively modest decrease in speed could reduce crashes.
- Promote Public Awareness: This is where initiatives like Rail Safety Week can make a difference. With better education of the dangers of railroad crossing, collisions may be avoided. Drivers and pedestrians need to know the extreme risk posed by trains.
Call Our West Palm Beach Railroad Accident Attorneys for Immediate Help
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our Florida train accident lawyers are committed to providing aggressive legal advocacy to victims and their families. We fight to hold negligent corporations and their insurance companies accountable. Call us now for a free review of your case. With legal offices in West Palm Beach, Wellington and Miami, we handle railroad accident injury claims throughout Southeastern Florida.