Rail crossing crashes, fatalities down in 2015
ST. PAUL — The number of people killed in vehicle-train crashes at public railroad crossings in 2015 was the second lowest since 1970, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.
The total number of crashes also was the second lowest since 1970.
Four people died at railroad crossings in 2015 in three separate crashes; a total of 32 crashes occurred, with 19 reported injuries. Another three people were killed in trespassing incidents. Transit crashes aren't included in the statistics.
The number of fatalities has declined steadily since at least 1970, when there were 56 fatalities and 392 crashes. In 2014, nine people died in 48 crashes.
There are 4,030 public crossings in the state; 38 percent of them have some form of signalized crossing. The others have stop or yield signs and crossbars.
Motorists are instructed to follow these precautions:
• Only cross railroad tracks at a designated crossing.
• Whenever approaching railroad tracks, slow down and be prepared to stop for an approaching train.
• Always look for a second train before crossing railroad tracks.
• Never use railroad tracks as a trail for hiking, snowmobiling or other recreation.
• Any time you see tracks, think train.