Rail trespassing fatalities up 17 percent in California

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OAKLAND — More people died while trespassing on California’s railroads in 2016 than in any other state, Amtrak officials say. The 17.4-percent increase to 101 deaths in one year motivated passenger railroad officials to warn passengers and the public to be cautious around railroads and to never walk on the tracks.

California had the most trespassing fatalities of any state in 2016 and the second most grade crossing incidents, according to a railroad news release.

The railroad offered tips for pedestrians and road users including:
•Follow directional signs and warning signals when crossing tracks;
•Whether in a car, on a bike, or on foot, never try to beat or go around a crossing bar, even if it is not all the way down;
•Cross the tracks only at designated crossing areas. Doing so anywhere else is not only dangerous, but also illegal;
•Use caution when using cellphones and remove headphones when nearby or crossing the tracks; Never stop your car on railroad tracks. If you cannot move your car due to traffic congestion or mechanical issues, get out of the car and off of the tracks;
•And report suspicious items, persons, or activity immediately to the Amtrak Police Department by approaching a uniformed officer, calling (800) 331-0008, sending a text to APD11 (27311), or by calling 911.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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