The Brightline train has been promoted in commercials and ads for the past year, revealing a faster way for individuals to get around by train. The train itself can pass through a railroad crossing within seconds and has just begun carrying passengers on a 40-mile route between Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach since mid-January. Prior to transporting passengers, the train did go on some test runs as this is generally part of the procedure that follows the development of any new type of equipment or mode of transportation.
Unfortunately, ABC News is saying that because of the recent deaths that have occurred involving this high-speed train, “they have darkened the debut of Brightline.” Back in July when the Brightline train was making a test run through Boca Raton, an 18-year-old woman jumped in front of the train. Another woman was hit on the tracks in Fort Lauderdale. And recently, a restaurant worker who was attempting to go around the lowered gates while ignoring the bells and lights, was hit and killed by the train as well. Jeffery King is now the fourth person to date to die in an accident involving the Brightline train.
One U.S. Representative, Brian Mast, has called for Brightline to be shut down until a safety investigation can be conducted. However, a police spokeswoman stated that “pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists need to obey the bells, lights, and gates.” While that would, in fact, help to prevent further accidents from occurring involving this train and any other type, another good point was brought up by the Fort Lauderdale accident attorney representing the family of King. He stated that “Brightline cannot be the high-speed rail of the future operating under the safeguards of the past.” That comment stems from pedestrians and cyclists being given access to railway crossings with locomotives approaching at speeds in excess of 60 mph.
But, railroad accidents have been a serious issue for all of the U.S. The news source highlighted that in the first 10 months of 2017, 831 people died when accidentally struck by a train. 69 of those people were in Florida. Among the 831 deaths, 143 people died by suicide. The fact is, if there was less access to railroad crossings, we may very well see a decline in the number of deaths being reported. Unfortunately, there are always going to be people who think they can outrun a train and until they are limited in being able to actually cross over the tracks, we will likely continue to see accidents occurring.
Tips That Can Help You Safely Cross Over Railroad Tracks
Provided below are some tips from the Missouri Department of Transportation:
- Never race a train to the crossing.
- Never drive around lowered gates.
- Do not get trapped on the tracks.
- Get out of your vehicle if it stalls on the tracks.
- Watch out for a second train.
- Be aware of the fact that trains cannot stop quickly.
- Cross train tracks at a designated crossing only.
- Expect a train on any track at any given time.
- Do not cross the tracks immediately after a train passes.
- Never walk around or behind lowered gates at a crossing.
By being careful and cautious around train tracks, you help decrease your chances of getting hurt or becoming the next victim of an accident.
If you ever become injured in an accident involving a train, a car, or even while crossing the street, don’t hesitate to obtain legal representation from a Fort Lauderdale accident lawyer who can assist you with your case.