(11/21/12) - Safe Kids Pee Dee/Coastal reminds families to take caution during Railroad Safety Month as well as year-round. The organization offers the following safety tips to reduce a risk for serious injury and death involving railroads:
• Obey all signs and signals. The time the signal begins to flash until the arrival of the train may be only 20 seconds. This provides little time to cross the track or escape injury. When the warning sounds or the gate begins to close, children should understand that no one should be on the track or the roadside area.
• Never drive around lowered gates. It is illegal and deadly. If you suspect a signal is malfunctioning, call the toll-free number posted on or near the crossing signal or your local law enforcement agency.
• Be aware that trains cannot stop quickly. Even if the locomotive engineer sees you, a freight train moving at 55 miles per hour can take a mile or more to stop once the emergency brakes are applied. This is 18 football fields.
• Always expect a train. Freight trains do not follow set schedules.
For more information about railroad safety, call Safe Kids Pee Dee/Coastal at (843) 777-5021 to speak to an Injury Prevention Specialist or visit www.McLeodSafeKids.org.
Safe Kids Pee Dee/Coastal, led by McLeod Health, works to prevent accidental childhood injury, the leading cause of death in children 14 and under. Safe Kids Pee Dee/Coastal is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing accid