Railroad, Madera Police crack down on railroad crossing violators

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Police officers from Union Pacific and Madera teamed up on Wednesday looking for drivers behaving badly near railroad crossings. 

“A lot of people don’t realize how fast trains move,” Union Pacific Senior Special Agent Tim Souza said. 

Souza said freight trains travel 55 miles per hour and could take up to a mile for the locomotives to actually come to a stop once full brakes are applied. 

“Common violations that we see during this public safety events are people stopping on the tracks, we get trespassers crossing across the tracks in non-designated areas,” Souza said. 

While Your Central Valley was riding with train operators from Union Pacific, we saw one motorist accelerating after the lights at a crossing had activated, the arms had not gone down. 

Madera Police Officer Kenneth Hall and his partner pulling over a driver who was stopped in the middle of the railroad crossing at the Cleveland Avenue and Gateway Drive intersection.

“It’s a big issue at this intersection because it’s a multiple stop signs and a big intersection. A lot of cars. A lot of traffic,” Hall said.

Hall issued about five citations during the safety operation. 

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