Kent Police Plan Railroad Crossing Patrols, Safety Awareness

Media sources reported the Kent Police Department is planning to implement railroad-crossing patrols in the effort to raise awareness concerning safe practices while crossing tracks and to catch those who break the law while doing so.

A press release from the Kent Police Department stated Monday that the department is working closely with the Union Pacific Railroad Police, Washington State Patrol and King County Transit Police to conduct these crossing patrols. These patrols are designed to bring pedestrian and driver awareness to laws related to safe passage over railroad-crossings, because of the recent resurgence of foot and vehicle traffic in the downtown area.

Kent traffic unit officer Mike Schanbacher said, “Rail crossing are dangerous locations. If hit by a train, the train usually wins.” Variables like weight, size and speed make it difficult for trains to stop quickly. Since Kent crossings have multiple tracks, it’s even more important for pedestrians and vehicles to observe rail crossing signals and laws. Officers in marked vehicles, motorcycles and bicycles will intervene with motorists and pedestrians that are not complying with rail crossing signals. Results from prior patrols included 26 traffic violations, many of which were crosswalk violations. There were also two arrests made for driving under the influence and two arrests for marijuana possession.

As a Federal Way car accident attorney, I know the dangers of railroad crossings to vehicles and pedestrians. As a personal injury lawyer, I hope that these patrols aid in raising safety awareness at railroad tracks in order to keep everyone safe.