More Drivers Caught On, Near Railroad Tracks

Plainfield Police Department's July check resulted in more than two dozen citations for crossing violations and other broken laws.

This month's railroad check netted 20 tickets for drivers stopping within a grade crossing and another eight for other infractions.

conducted the crackdown on July 20 at the Route 126 crossing, just east of Route 59. The department's been doing checks nearly every month since January in order to draw attention to the fact that it could be fatal to stop too close to the tracks, especially as the number of trains on the Canadian National Railway line starts to pick up.

The tickets issued this month were:

  • 20 for stopping within a grade crossing
  • 4 for driving without insurance
  • 3 for failing to wear a seat belt
  • 1 for failing to notify the secretary of state's office of an address change
  • 2 written warnings for stopping within a grade crossing

The biggest point traffic Sgt. Eric Munson has said he wants to make is that the width of train cars often exceed the width of the tracks -- sometimes by as much as 5 feet on each side.

Therefore, if you ignore the road stripes telling you where to stop, even if you are not on the tracks proper, you run a very serious risk of having your car be struck by a passing train, he said.

Drivers need to remember that trains can come through quickly and unexpectedly, and there may not be enough time to get out of the crossing area let alone off the tracks, Munson said. Also, if you're at a crossing with protective gates, they could come down on your car.

sallyharrison July 24, 2011 at 07:27 AM
Millions of drivers are breaking the law with no insurance because they don't know this about "Auto Insurance Clearance" you can find cheap insurance
Denise Williams July 24, 2011 at 04:37 PM
Jason - are you saying that if someone receives a ticket, it matters more that the ticket is written under the correct statute than the fact that the person broke the law and put themselves and others in danger? I absolutely agree that the police - and by extension all those in the justice system- should be held to the letter of the law. However, I don't think a guilty person should try to get out of their just punishment on a technicality. Rather than advise people to research if the ticket they received was written correctly, how about advising people to research the rules of the road and abide by them so they don't receive a ticket in the first place. Contrary to the deluded opinion of anarchists and criminals, traffic citations are written not to generate money for the govenment, they are the consequence of breaking laws intended to keep us all safe. Laws, I might add. that are necessary because some people lack the common sense to drive in a manner that doesn't put the rest of us in danger. So, you got a ticket for stopping too close to the tracks? Pay it and be glad that is the only consequence of playing chicken with a speeding locomotive. And pay attention to the markings on the road the next time you come to a railroad crossing.
my conscience July 24, 2011 at 09:11 PM
I think that a RR stop line is normally about 15 feet from the nearest rail except where gates are installed -- if there is a gate then the stop line is 8 feet in front of the gate.


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