When a train signal begins to flash, the law says you’re supposed to stop. From the engineer’s seat, it’s easy to see that doesn’t always happen.
Special Agent with the Union Pacific Railroad, Alfredo Rodriguez, joined forces with San Marcos police Thursday to get out the word about traffic laws related to trains. During ‘Operation Lifesaver,’ the law officials pulled over drivers and handed out tickets and warnings.
“We’ve been seeing vehicles try to beat the train at the crossing, taking the lights,” Rodriguez said. “Once the lights get activated, they’re flashing it means stop. They have to yield the right away to the train.”
When cars ran the flashing lights, police were there to make the stop and write tickets.
“It’s against the law to try to beat a train at the crossing,” Rodriguez said. ”They’re jeopardizing their lives and they’re jeopardizing the people around them.”
In addition to cars trying to beat the train, officers also stopped people illegally crossing the tracks. Crossing is only allowed at designated sites, so those offenders received trespass warnings.
“People take risks for no apparent reason,” Rodriguez said. “Sometimes they’ll pause and continue going forward. They see the flashing red lights and instead of stopping they proceed and speed up to try to get over the crossing.”
In a space of about four hours on the operation’s first day, officers racked up close to 50 citations.
Similar enforcement happened earlier this week in Kyle.