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The Evanston Police Dept. is urging parents to stress rail safety with their children during Rail Safety Week, which begins Sunday and ends the following Saturday.

It’s an occasion for the department to promote safety for both motorists and pedestrians around railroad tracks.

The police encourage parents to pass these tips on to their children:

Trains cannot stop quickly.  Even if a locomotive engineer sees you, it will take the average train more than a mile to stop. That is about 20 football fields.

The average train weighs 200 tons, and the average automobile weighs less than two tons.

A motorist is 40 times more likely to die in a crash involving a train than in a crash involving another motor vehicle.

The majority of highway/railroad collisions occur when the train is traveling less than 30 miles per hour.

Pay careful attention at crossings at night and in bad weather.

Because of their size, trains look like they are moving slower than they actually are.  It is nearly impossible to predict the speed of an approaching train. 

If you are using headphones, please remove them when crossing or walking near railroad tracks.

Once the warning signals begin, it can take as little as 20 seconds for the train to reach the crossing.

Get off your bike and walk it across the tracks. 

Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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