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Mind the Gap
Track Walking
Young Drivers
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It is not unreasonable to expect that every youngster would be protected from the dangers of walking on the railroad tracks, absent from any information, to the contrary.  Many mishaps on train tracks are caused by unexpected changes in the control of access that allows youngsters easy entry onto the right-of-way.  Typically poor control of the right-of-way creates a higher degree of probability that an accident will result from youngsters walking onto the railroad tracks.  With strict controls potential track walkers are offered visual cues to attract their attention toward the dangers awaiting them by walking on the railroad tracks.  The most important factors for preventing and removing the track walking hazards are applying the best practices of design and maintenance.  Track walking accidents, in most cases, can be easily prevented had the railroad’s safety experts fully understood the danger of track walking, identified the problem areas and quickly and effectively eliminated the hazards.  For many railroads, control of access to the right-of-way has not been brought-up to current industry standards and practices.  Preventive measures that would eliminate track walking are quite simple …by adding safety features, including: passive and active pedestrian control devices, information systems (signage, brochures, announcements, etc.), safety outreach educational campaigns in the community and in the schools, maintaining a well repaired fence line, expanding the existing fence along the right-of-way, installing an inter-track fence line and creating an adjoining fenced off walking area (pathway).