The Thirty Minute Blogger

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Friday, June 9, 2017

Watched a Driver's Near Death Decision

I was out driving yesterday on one of the small, two lane side roads in our area. I came to a railroad crossing. The gates were down and lights lit. There was no evidence of a train in sight, although the view was limited by buildings along either side of the tracks. The rails of the gates only covered one lane, the lane beside which the machinery was installed.

On the other side of the road, one driver decided not to wait. It didn't appear any train was coming anytime soon. So, he quickly pulled out into my lane on the other side of the tracks, moving with that hasty speed that says, "I know what I'm doing is illegal, probably dangerous, and I don't want to get caught." In the instant, the heart beat before he could enter the clear side of the track, the side without the gate on his side of the tracks, the train arrived. It was a local express apparently. It was moving at speed. One second it was not there; the next heartbeat, it was filling the intersection ... and then it was gone.

I don't remember if the trains sounded its horn. I don't know if it was required to do so or if the local express trains have horns to sound. All I can tell you is there was virtually no warning in sound or sight that the train was arriving. The warning came strictly from the gates and the flashing lights.

It was a near death experience for that impatient driver. Had he hurried a little more, his car and the train would have met. Who knows how many of us would have been collateral damage.

Don't gamble with your life and the life of others on the road. Don't try to guess when the train is coming. You can lose that bet in less than an eye blink. Stay safe. 

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