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Alternatives to horn blowing

POSTED August 23, 2011 9:25 p.m.

Dear Editor:

I believe wherever there are cross arms at railroad crossings and the weather and view are clear, blowing the train’s horn is totally unnecessary.

When the train horn is blown, the only message is don’t go around the cross arms because a train is coming. I feel there should be surveillance cameras placed on both arms so when a vehicle does go around the cross arms and gets hit by a train there is proof. There should be a law that states anyone bypassing the cross arms loses all rights to suing the owners of the tracks or train.

Even if a vehicle is not hit, the engineer should report these infractions to local law enforcement agencies. Each crossing should be given a number to make it easy to report such as crossing 133W (westbound).

Perhaps ordinary people could report anyone bypassing cross arms by giving the date, crossing number, time of day and the surveillance cameras could provide the license number. The first person reporting the infraction could receive 20 percent of the fine.

If the engineer sees a cross arm up in the air or there is foggy weather at a gated crossing, he should blow his horn.

Our state legislators should do something about this.

— Wendell Martin

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