Brian Smith is a Paragould Police Officer.
Over his years on duty he has seen first hand the aftermath of train involved accidents.
“There’s no fender benders when it comes to a car and vehicle accident. They’re always terrible wrecks”, Smith says.
The Paragould Police Department has teamed up with Union Pacific Railroads to help bring awareness to the community.
As well as reminding them of the laws that must be followed at the tracks.
The partnership is part of Union Pacific’s Crossing Accident Reduction, Education, and Safety program.
“That’s what we’re trying to prevent. We have two or three vehicle accidents a year but we also have one or two pedestrian train accidents a year which are terrible”, Smith says.
A freight train traveling on the tracks at 55 miles per hour needs more than a mile to come to a complete stop; making it hard for the conductor to do anything before it’s too late.
Smith say, “Don’t try to beat a train. There’s nothing that conductor can do to help you, if you pull out in front of him you’re going to get hit.”
Accidents are not the only concern drivers and pedestrians should have.
If you are caught running through flashing train signals, not stopping for stop signs, or walking on the tracks you can get a ticket.
Union Pacific’s Director of Public Affairs, Brandon Morris says many entities can write you up, “local city police, your county sheriff's, state troopers, anybody could be paying attention to what you’re doing and everyone has authority to cite you for doing illegal things around the railroad tracks”.