WLOX Editorial: More railroad crossing arms and lights needed

It happened again just last week, a driver died in a train crossing accident in South Mississippi. It happened at a railroad crossing that had neither crossing arms nor lights.

According to the Federal Railway Administration, more than half of the 2,200 public crossings in Mississippi have what they call passive warnings, in other words no gates and no bells or lights to warn of an approaching train.

We know it may not be realistic to put crossing arms at every crossing. But we think more can be added. And maybe more of the street crossings should be closed.

Sure it will be more inconvenient for drivers forced to travel a few more blocks to another crossing, but it's a trade of inconvenience for safety. Public crossings certainly are not the only places the people get killed.

There are more than 2,000 private road crossings in Mississippi and hundreds of miles of train tracks where people often walk. The trains in South Mississippi move at a high rate of speed. There is no way a train engineer can stop to avoid cars or pedestrians.

Whether or not there are crossing arms and lights please be careful. Stop, look, listen and live.

That's our opinion, we would like to hear yours. Email your thoughts to editorials@wlox.com, or post your comments below.

Rick Williams
WLOX-TV General Manager

Copyright 2013 WLOX. All rights reserved.