April 23, 2019 - Progressive Railroading -

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) last week relaunched a $5.6 million safety awareness campaign urging people to take greater care at grade crossings.

In 2018, 270 people were killed at railroad crossings. Of those, 99 people died — a 10-year high — after the vehicle driver drove around lowered crossing gate arms, according to an FRA press release.

The “Stop. Trains Can’t” campaign is meant to remind drivers about the potential risks of an approaching train when crossing railroad tracks, especially when active warning devices such as flashing lights or gate arms are descending or lowered.

The campaign — which runs until May 12 — includes a video on digital and social platforms, radio advertising and social media messages.

Ads will be targeted to high-incident communities in the states of Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon and Texas.

“Rail safety isn’t just about the safe movement of passenger and freight trains; it’s also about helping the American public be safe near railroad tracks," said FRA Administrator Ronald Batory.