With a record-breaking 116 million Americans nationwide hitting the road this holiday season, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Transit Enforcement Unit Tuesday offered safety tips for travelers who will be taking trains or driving across rail lines on their journey.
Most importantly, sheriff’s officials urged motorists to look both ways and listen when crossing over train trains, and anticipate that as train can arrive at any time from either direction.
They also warned drivers to never, ever try to beat a train. Sheriff’s officials noted that even in a full emergency, it can take a train a mile or more to stop, meaning ever if the engineer spots a vehicle or other obstruction on the tracks, it may already be too late to stop the train.
Other tips offered by the sheriff’s department include:
— Avoid dangerous distractions such as texting, loud music or head phones that would prevent you from hearing an approaching train.
— Always stay behind the yellow lines when standing at train stations, and hold hands with smaller children.
— Stay off the tracks at stations and elsewhere. Train tracks, bridges and yards are private property.
— Never walk, bike, skateboard or run on or along the tracks, and cross tracks only on designated rail crossings.
For travelers in general, sheriff’s officials warned people to keep valuables in their possession, don’t leave luggage unattended and don’t agree to watch someone else’s bag.
If you see someone who appears to be in distress, approach them and start a conversation if it seems safe to do so, sheriff’s officials said. Showing compassion can help a person in crisis, and the holiday season can leave many people feeling isolated and alone.
The county offers a 24-hour crisis line for people feeling distraught, at 888-724-7240. Information is also available online at up2sd.org.
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