Dangers of crossing tracks illegally


It’s hard to believe summer is coming to a close and a 2016-2017 school year is about to begin. With that in mind, it is once again time to remind students as well as parents about the dangers involved in crossing the railroad tracks and being on railroad property.

The only place it is legal and safe to be on railroad property is at the designated railroad crossings. The Fifth Street and Bennett Street crossings are examples here in Livingston — do not cross the tracks across the highway by Washington school, where a pathway exists illegally!! This is trespassing, and you or your child could be fined if caught — or injured or even killed.

Montana Rail Link railroad has added over 2,800 feet of new fencing and even more signage along its property here in town, hoping to deter possible serious injury or fatalities from occurring. They can only do so much and can’t fence the entire 700-plus miles they run trains. It’s up to us as parents to make sure our kids understand the dangers in trespassing on railroad property.

So whether you or your child walks, rides or drives to school, please tell them to use the proper railroad crossing and please be patient. It’s not worth the risk to drive around a crossing gate, or ride your bike or walk around a downed gate either. The gates are on the crossing for a purpose — to warn you of an oncoming train!

It’s also become very popular to have senior portraits taken along or on railroad tracks. This has become a national problem, where almost every day someone is killed doing just that. It is illegal to trespass on railroad property, even for a quick photo. Over 600 people died trespassing on railroad property nationwide in 2015. Each one of the numbers represents a loved one’s death that could have been prevented from occurring if they would have obeyed the law!! Even if you think the track is not being used, don’t take the chance. A picture is just not worth it.

I hope you take the time to talk with your child about safely crossing the tracks, and let’s have a safe school year!

Please remember this, When you See Tracks, Always think Trains!!

Look, Listen and Live!

Mark Sigler
Montana Operation Lifesaver