By: Basch & Keegan
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Ulster County Law Enforcement and Rail Operator Educate Community on Crossing Safety
Over the past ten years, the town of Ulster has seen some eight accidents involving pedestrians and trains. When adding in those pedestrian train accidents occurring in Kingston, Saugerties, and throughout Ulster County, officials estimate that nearly 20 such accidents have occurred. In order to stem the occurrence of such accidents, police agencies in Ulster County have teamed up with representatives from rail operator CSX and the public safety education non-profit New York Operation Life Saver to begin a month of educating the public on rail safety. As part of this effort, police officers will distribute brochures to individuals in areas where they are likely to encounter railroad tracks. After the conclusion of the public safety effort, officials report that police officers will begin to rigorously enforce the laws against trespassing on train tracks by ticketing or arresting those violating the laws.
As recently as February of 2015, a local resident walking along the tracks in the town of Ulster was hit by a train and sent to the hospital in critical condition. Such encounters between pedestrians and trains are in addition to recent incidents between cars and trains, including the tragic Valhalla Metro North accident in February of this year. In many cases, railroad crossings may use outdated warning systems, lacking the flashing lights and warning signs now common at such crossings, leading drivers and pedestrians to possibly be unaware that they are on or near a crossing. As stated by officials during the recent rail safety campaign, individuals who survive train accidents often report being unaware that a train was oncoming. Since a train requires a full mile to come to a stop when traveling at 55 miles per hour, it simply isn’t possible for trains to avoid a collision once an obstruction on the tracks becomes visible to conductors.
If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of another’s negligence in trespassing on train tracks, or due to insufficient warning signage near a rail crossing, seek out the knowledgeable Kingston accident and personal injury attorneys at Basch & Keegan. Call (845) 338-8884 for a free consultation on your Hudson Valley personal injury claim.