Number of Deaths in Train Collisions Mounts
The number of deaths caused by collisions with trains in Broward County has been mounting steadily. It has become so frequent that it is almost a weekly occurrence.
Just this week an 84 year old driver turned to head east on NE 62nd St from Dixie Highway. The railroad warning signals activated as she turned and the safety arms started to come down. The driver, for some unknown reason, pulled onto the tracks and stopped.
The Brightline train was too close and despite attempts to warn the driver and stop the train it collided with the car. The car was dragged several hundred feet before the train stopped. The driver, Liesel Hulden of Coconut Creek, was pronounced dead on the scene.
Operation Crossing Guard
As a result of the mounting fatalities along the tracks BSO in partnership with Brightline and other Broward County law enforcement agencies, created “Operation Crossing Guard”.
The goal of the operation is to deter railway fatalities through enforcement.
Operation Crossing Guard’s traffic enforcement action will run from June 6 through June 17. The action will specifically take place at railroad crossings along the Florida East Coast Railway/Brightline corridor in Broward County. The goal is to reduce railway fatalities by enforcing traffic laws and educating the public about why it is so dangerous to try and beat the train.
During the period of enforcement law enforcement will patrol railroad crossings and cite drivers who drive around lowered safety arms, stop on railroad tracks or commit other moving violations. Citations will range from $115 to $205.
Law enforcement and Brightline urges pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists to stop, look and listen when near or crossing the railroad tracks. When a train is approaching, a person should never attempt to go around the lowered safety arms.It is difficult to estimate the speed of the train and it may be traveling faster and closer than a person might think.