Thursday, February 8, 2007

Railroad crossing dangers

Common sense tells us drivers that we should take caution when approaching a railroad crossing. Mom used to say, "Stop, and look both ways." Easy to do. But, most don't. Here in Indianapolis, especially in more rural and now-urbanizing once rural areas, crossings are unmarked with flashing lights and many do not have blocking arms, bells, or everything I'm used to living up in Southeast Michigan. Sadly, it's taken the tragic death of two young boys to put some attention on this issue. Granted, the driver in a family SUV apparently didn't stop or look, and jetted out in front of a train - resulting in the boys' death, but not the driver or other person in the gas guzzler. Yes, that driver should have stopped. But, maybe something else could be done to help ensure or encourage more safety and caution at these dangerous crossings. Critics are already complaining that bad drivers will still be bad drivers, even with added safety measures. It's not the guv's job to protect every stupid person who doesn't use common sense. I concur in part: Some will probably still try to beat the trains or do something unsafe to save a few precious minutes of their drive. But, maybe a change would alter one driver's thought-process, make them slow down and think twice about their speed and behavior approaching a crossing. Maybe one life could be saved. That possibility should be worth the effort.

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