Louisiana Operation Lifesaver
What Louisiana Residents Need to Know about Highway-Rail Grade Crossings
50: Almost the percentage of vehicle / train collisions that occur at crossings nationally with active warning devices (lights, gates, bells).
64: Percentage of all collisions that occur during daylight hours
2: Average time, in hours, between each incident where a vehicle or pedestrian is struck by a train
20: Times you are more likely to die in a crash with a train than you are to die in an automobile crash.
3000: Approximately the number of rail miles in Louisiana
6000: Roughly the number of public and private highway-rail grade crossings in Louisiana
200: Number of feet a mid-size car takes to stop at 55 mph
5280: Number of feet an average size (150 car) freight train takes to stop at 55 mph
In 2006, statewide, Louisiana has143 crashes at railroad crossings resulting in 8 fatalities and 72 injuries. Crashes are up 8%, fatalities are down 60% and injuries are up 39% from 2005.
FACT: At 80,000 pounds, pulling a 53 foot trailer, a typical linehaul unit on a level road with good surface conditions requires at least 14 seconds to clear a single track and more than 15 seconds to clear a double track.
FACT: After fully applying the brakes, a loaded freight train traveling 55 mph takes a mile or more to stop and an 8-car passenger train traveling 80 mph requires about a mile to stop.
FACT: In 2005, Louisiana ranked 6th highest in the nation for the number of traffic collisions at highway rail crossings.
Be aware that lowboys, car carriers, moving vans, possum-bellied livestock trailers and other loads that travel with a minimal ground clearance can get stuck on raised crossings. IF FOR ANY REASON YOU DO GET STUCK ON THE TRACKS:
Get out of the truck and away from the tracks.
Call 911. Give the location of the crossing, using all identifiable landmarks, especially the DOT crossing number if posted.
Be aware of field to field Railroad Crossings. Such crossings are often not marked and your vision may be obscured by crops or vegetation.
Stopping at Highway-Rail Intersections:
Stop no closer than 15 feet to the nearest rail.
Check for traffic behind you while gradually slowing.
Turn on four-way flasher; leave on until following traffic has safely stopped.
Roll down the window and turn off stereo and fans.
Once stopped, look carefully in both directions for approaching train, moving head and eyes to see
Before resuming, make sure there is enough room on the other side of the track for the whole unit to
clear the tracks, including any overhang
Use the highest gear which will let you cross the tracks without shifting.
o If the red lights begin to flash after starting across the tracks, KEEP GOING. The lights should begin flashing at least 20 seconds before the train arrives at the crossing.
Stop at Every Highway-Rail Intersection when:
Transporting chlorine, whether or not placarding is required
Driving any vehicle placarded for Hazardous Materials
Driving a cargo tank used for hazardous materials, whether loaded or empty
Transporting, in a cargo tank, a Class 3 elevated temperature material
Transporting a hazardous material covered by a DOT exemption (shipping papers of packaging
material marked “DOT-E” followed by exemption number)
ALWAYS EXPECT A TRAIN
Union Pacific Railroad
|1-888-UPRR-COP or 877-7267|
Kansas City Southern Railroad
Canadian National Railroad
Norfolk Southern Railroad
Louisiana and Delta Railroad
|1-337-364-9625, Ext. 0|
Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad
New Orleans Public Belt Railroad
New Orleans Gulf Coast Railroad