Indiana Raising Railroad Safety Awareness

Indiana Raising Railroad Safety Awareness

Every 3 hours, a person or vehicle is struck by a train. Hear from a resident of the Valley who fell victim to this statistic.
Governor Pence and an organization called "Indiana Operation Lifesaver" dedicated this week to railroad safety.

Last year alone, there were 90 railroad crossing collisions statewide.

"I wasn't trying to beat the train," Rhonda Buntain said. "I couldn't see the train."

It was a visit to Vincennes Rhonda Buntain will never forget.

In March of this year, Rhonda railroad crossing that didn't have a crossing arm.

"The tracks were there and I was creeping up on the tracks and there the train was," recalled Buntain. "I slammed on the brakes and i could not stop in time and it tore the front end off of my car."

Fortunately, Buntain left the scene without any injuries.

"Other than being shook up and scared, I was absolutely fine and lived to tell about it," Buntain added.

Much like the crossroad Buntain was struck at, several crossings here in Terre Haute have no crossing arm.

Indiana State Police say motorists should approach tracks with caution.

"Move up to the track, come to a complete stop, roll your window down, listen, look, do it again, and once you feel safe that the track is clear, then you could proceed through it," said Trooper Brandon Mullen.

"Had there been a crossing arm, I of course would've stop but I didn't see the light," Buntain said. "All I could hear was the train."

There may be times where the lights are on and the crossing arms are down but no sight of any train. Trooper Mullen suggests motorists sit tight if this occurs and not go through the crossing.

"That three or four minutes that you're losing is definitely not worth losing your life over," Mullen added.

Rhonda Buntain offers some advice of her own.

"If you hear a train, you better stop. You just better stop."

The Indiana Operation Lifesaver is a non-profit dedicated to eliminating collisions.
 
To learn more about the organization, visit their website at: http://oli.org/.
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