Staying Safe Around Railroad Tracks


If your child is playing outside, riding their bike, skateboard, or scooter, he or she might come across a railroad crossing.  Do they know how to be safe around tracks?

You might be surprised to know Florida had 52 highway-rail grade crossing collisions and seven related deaths in 2011. Here are tips you can share to keep your family safe:



Look For The Flashing Lights!

If you see flashing railroad lights and the gates going down, STOP!  Obey these warning signals and stay back.  Don’t get too close and make sure you are a safe distance from the crossing.

Look Both Ways!

Always expect a train.  Trains can run on any track, at any time, in either direction.  After the train passes, or even if there doesn’t appear to be a train, look both ways before proceeding.

If You See A Train Coming, WAIT!

If you see a train coming, or see the signals flashing and gates coming down, WAIT!  Do not try and run over the tracks and beat the train.  An approaching train may be closer and traveling faster than it appears.

Trains Cannot Stop Quickly

The average freight train traveling 55 miles per hour takes a mile or more to stop.  That ‘s 18 football fields.  If the locomotive engineer can see you, it’s too late to stop the train.



Operation Lifesaver provided the information for these tips.  For more information, go to