Frequently Asked Questions
How often do a vehicle and train collide in the U.S.?
About every 90 minutes a vehicle and train collide in the U.S.
Is a train/vehicle crash more serious than other vehicle crashes?
Yes. You are 30 times more likely to die in a crash with a train than with another motor vehicle. A derailment could result and if a freight train is involved, there is a possibility that hazardous material being transported by the train could become involved and endanger an entire community.
How many people are killed or seriously injured in this type of crash?
Collisions at highway-rail grade crossings killed or seriously injured approximately 2500 people in 1994 and about the same number in 1995.
Where do these crashes usually occur?
Most vehicle/train crashes occur at highway/rail grade crossings within 25 miles of the motorist's home.
How long does it take a train to stop?
Remember, trains cannot stop quickly:
Is it illegal to go around gates which are down or through flashing lights?
Yes. Section 1170 of the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law requires that a driver stop no less than 15 feet from the nearest rail.
What vehicles are required to stop at all grade crossings?
Section 1171 of the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law requires certain vehicles to stop at all railroad crossings, including:
However, no stop need be made at any such crossing where a police officer or a traffic-control signal or sign directs traffic to proceed.
The New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law (Section 1176) also prohibits events obstructing highway-railroad grade crossings.
What should I do to avoid a crash with a train?
Always obey pertinent laws and traffic warning signals. Use caution. Be prepared to stop - look, listen and live.
What is Operation Lifesaver?
Operation Lifesaver, Inc. is a non-profit international public information, education, engineering and enforcement program dedicated to reducing crashes, injuries, and fatalities at highway-rail grade crossings and along railroad rights of way. It has active committees in 49 states and Canada. New York State Operation Lifesaver, Inc. membership includes federal, state and local agencies, railroads, law enforcement agencies and volunteers.
What does Operation Lifesaver do to educate the public about the dangers at highway-rail grade crossings and trespassing on railroad tracks and rights of way?
The New York Committee has three speakers bureaus in the state which have Level I and Level II certified Operation Lifesaver presenters who make presentations at schools, service and social clubs, fraternal and various safety groups, and Operation Lifesaver also participates in special events taking place throughout the year.
Remember: Any time is train time, and when it's a tie at the crossing, you lose.
Programs & Solutions
See the New York State Operation Lifesaver Page.
Related Sites & Sources