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OLS-January 2018-03

There’s only one message: STAY OFF THE TRACKS

Rail safety should be a top priority for all! With two active railroads operating throughout South Florida, it’s important for all motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists to be aware of the laws that are in place to keep the public safe.

Brightline and the Florida East Coast Railway operate on the Florida East Coast Railway corridor, which parallels US 1 or Dixie Highway in most places. This corridor is now double tracked, meaning trains can run in both directions at either time. Tri-Rail, CSX and Amtrak operate on the South Florida Rail Corridor, which is predominantly located west of I-95. Both systems operate through Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.

Many cities along the Florida East Coast Railway and the South Florida Rail Corridor have or will apply for quiet zone status, which means neither freight nor passenger trains are required to blow their horns as they approach at-grade crossings. Even if a quiet zone is not in place, the public should pay attention around railroad tracks and always expect a train. Do not wear headphones or engage in distractive behavior.

Flashing red lights warn of an approaching train and must be treated like a stop sign. When the gates are down and the lights are flashing red, you must stop. Proceed only when it is safe to do so. Trains always have the right-of-way.

Florida law states:

  • Any person walking or driving a vehicle and approaching an at-grade crossing shall stop within 50 feet but not less than 15 feet from the nearest rail and shall not proceed until he or she can do safely.
  • No person shall drive any vehicle through, around, or under any crossing gate or barrier at a railroad-highway grade crossing while the gate or barrier is closed or is being opened or closed.
  • No pedestrian shall pass through, around, over, or under any crossing ate or barrier at a railroad grade crossing or bridge while such gate or barrier is closed or is being opened or closed (316.130 F.S.)
  • A violation of the law can mean points on your license and/or a fine. (Chapter 316.1575)

 Here are some important rail safety reminders:

LOOK

  • Stay behind the yellow line on train station platforms
  • Cross only where you see designated crosswalks
  • Always look both ways before crossing tracks

 LISTEN

  • Trains are quiet, be super alert!
  • Never wear headphones near train tracks
  • There may not always be a train horn

 LIVE

  • Never cross train tracks when you see a moving train
  • Never trespass on train tracks – it’s against the law
  • Never try to chase or outrun a train
  • Never walk or bike along train tracks

 

For more information about rail safety and to view the educational materials, please visit www.gobrightline.com/safety.

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