|Gering PD still enforcing railroad crossing laws|
|July 26, 2012 Jerry Purvis|
Photo by Doug Harris/Gering Citizen
Recent enforcement of railroad crossing laws has caused some confusion among motorists, but the state statute is clear and has been on the books for years.
State law states that when a train has passed a controlled crossing, drivers must wait for the crossing arms to go up and the flashing signals to stop before proceeding.
A Citizen reader said she had been in a Facebook conversation about the issue as many people wondered if stricter enforcement was something new. Another person said a flashing red light indicates a complete stop and then proceed with caution.
Thatís not the case for railroad crossings. Drivers must wait for the crossing arms to go completely up and the lights to stop flashing.
Drivers going through a railroad crossing before the arms completely clear are a common violation. Capt. Jason Rogers said this can be a hazard if another train is approaching from the other direction. The crossing arms could come back down and hit a vehicle.
Statistics show that during March through late May, the Gering Police Department made 173 traffic stops concerning crossing violations and issued 20 citations.
Police began stepping up enforcement of railroad crossings because there have been two fatalities at the 10th St. crossing in recent years, the most recent in January of 2012. And since 2008, there have been 13 near crashes at crossings within Gering.