| Sheriff Koon |

Rail Safety Week begins next week.

The goal of this campaign is to raise awareness and promote education surrounding railroad rights-of-ways and grade crossings.

The Lexington County Sheriff’s Department’s Traffic Division is once again participating in Operation Clear Track, coordinated by Amtrak and Operation Lifesaver, on September 21. Deputies will be located at designated railroad crossings to pass out safety literature.

The SC Code of Laws states: Whenever any person driving a vehicle approaches a railroad grade crossing under any of the circumstances stated in this section the driver of the vehicle shall stop within fifty feet, but not less than fifteen feet, from the nearest rail of the railroad and shall not proceed until he can do so safely (Section 56-5-2710). Additionally, it continues: Notwithstanding the indication of a traffic signal to proceed, no driver shall enter an intersection or a marked crosswalk or drive onto a railroad grade crossing unless there is sufficient space on the other side of the intersection, crosswalk, or railroad grade crossing to accommodate the vehicle the driver is operating without obstructing the passage of other vehicles, pedestrians, or railroad trains (Section 56-5-2735).

Not only is it dangerous, you can also receive a hefty fine for violating these laws.

Did you know that in the United States, every three hours a person or vehicle is hit by a train? Please pay attention to flashing lights and approaching trains; never drive or walk through lowered crossing gates; and never walk, play or take photos on a railroad.

Everyone can do their part to educate themselves on rail safety and stop track tragedies.