I don't normally read the paper, but I did manage to read an article about Maryland's railroad crossings ("High risks at railroad crossings," June 5). I got the feeling that the purpose was to blame either the railroads or the state for crossing accidents.
If I recall correctly, Maryland is pretty safe when it comes to the potential for accidents at railroad crossings. Also, a crossing in Halethorpe that had a low probability of an accident and no cross arms did have flashing overhead red lights.
So it is apparent the blame should be placed on the drivers rather than on the railroads. Maybe Maryland should alter the law to specify that every vehicle in the state must stop, look and listen before crossing tracks. Watching the video of the recent accident in Rosedale, it's clear the driver was at fault. He never appeared to even slow down, let alone stop as required by law.
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- Train derailment in Rosedale
- Rosedale area train derailment [Pictures]
- NTSB briefing on Rosedale train derailment [Video]
- Building damage by train explosion [Video]
- Rosedale train derailment and explosion videos
- Railway Transportation
My suggestion is that the state or railroads install video cameras at un-gated crossings and heavily fine drivers caught not stopping before crossing the tracks. It's the negligent drivers they would be trying to save. Until drivers take rail crossings seriously, they will continue to get hurt or die by their own hands.
Shannon Travers, Abingdon