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Operation Life Saver Supplement. Myths and Realities It is okay to walk on railroad property as long as you are not between the rails? It is okay to cross.

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Presentation on theme: "Operation Life Saver Supplement. Myths and Realities It is okay to walk on railroad property as long as you are not between the rails? It is okay to cross."— Presentation transcript:

1 Operation Life Saver Supplement

2 Myths and Realities It is okay to walk on railroad property as long as you are not between the rails? It is okay to cross the tracks anywhere as long as you can see ¼ mile? I will have plenty of time to get out of the way of an approaching train because I will hear it coming?

3 Signs and Markings

4 At a crossing, the flashing red lights and gates are for vehicles only? Railroad property is public property. I have the right to use it? A locomotive is not always in front of a train? It is okay for you to cross just as soon as the last car of a train passes the crossing? A freight train with 100 cars traveling 55 mph requires 18 football fields to stop.

5 Standard Gate Assembly Extended arm lowers to restrict traffic Flashing lights upright position Arm downward motion 3 seconds Train clears crossing Track circuitry evolved past 100 years Battery relay to motion sensor Track circuit

6 Crossbuck Oldest warning devices Passive yield sign Right hand of public roadway Required on all public roadways

7 Facts Continued More people die in highway-rail 50% have active warning devices Stopping distance full brake application  100 cars 55 mph = one mile  8 passenger car 79 mph = one mile Majority highway-rail less than 30 mph

8 Advance Warning Sign Round yellow with black “X” & “RR” Distance highway speed no less than 100 feet Not used low-volume, low-speed minor spurs where train crews flag crossing Physical conditions do not permit

9 Other Passive Warning Devices

10 Parallel Track Signs

11 LAWS AND REGULATIONS RAILROAD CROSSINGS Failure to follow rail crossing procedures for high-risk vehicles; application; penalty. (1) A person commits the offense of failure to follow rail crossing procedures for high-risk vehicles if the person takes any vehicle described in this section across any railroad or rail fixed guideway system tracks at grade without doing all of the following: (a) Stopping the vehicle at a clearly marked stop line or, if there is not a clearly marked stop line, not less than 15 feet nor more than 50 feet from the nearest rail of the railroad or rail fixed guideway system. (b) While so stopped, listening and looking in both directions along the tracks for approaching trains or rail fixed guideway system vehicles and for signals indicating approaching trains or rail fixed guideway system vehicles. (c) Proceeding across the tracks after stopping only when such movement can be performed safely in the gear of the motor vehicle that does not require manually changing gears while proceeding. (d) Proceeding across the tracks without manually changing gears.

12 Failure to follow rail crossing procedures for high-risk vehicles continued. (2) This section applies to the following vehicles when moved across railroad or rail fixed guideway system tracks: (a) A school bus. (b) A school activity vehicle with a loaded weight of 10,000 pounds or more. (c) A worker transport bus. (d) Any bus operated for transporting children to and from church or an activity or function authorized by a church. (3) Exemptions to this section are provided under ORS (4) The offense described in this section, failure to follow rail crossing procedures for high-risk vehicles, is a Class B traffic violation

13 Exemptions from high-risk vehicle rail crossing procedures. This section establishes exemptions from the special crossing procedures established for high-risk vehicles under ORS The exemptions are partial or complete as described in the following: (1) The vehicles are not required to comply with the procedures at a crossing of a street or highway and rail fixed guideway system tracks if: (a) The rail fixed guideway system vehicles operate within and parallel to the right of way of a street or highway; and (b) All vehicle movements are controlled by traffic control devices. Controls the fixed guideway system and other vehicle movement (cars, trucks, buses, etc)

14 Exemptions from high-risk vehicle rail crossing procedures continued: (2) The vehicles are not required to comply with the procedures when crossing any railway tracks upon which operation has been abandoned and for which the Department of Transportation has plainly marked that no stop need be made. (3) The vehicles are not required to comply with the procedures when crossing industry track crossings across which train operations are required by law to be conducted under flag protection. (4) The vehicles are not required to comply with the procedures when crossing industry track crossings within districts in which the designated speed of vehicles is 20 miles per hour or less. (5) Vehicles are not required to comply with the procedures when crossing any crossing where an officer directs traffic to proceed or where an operating traffic control signal indicates that other traffic may proceed.

15 Exemptions from high-risk vehicle rail crossing procedures continued: (6) Vehicles are not required to comply with the procedures when crossing any crossing protected by crossing gates. The exemption under this subsection does not apply to: (a) School buses or school activity vehicles that are required to stop at crossings with crossing gates under ORS ; (b) Tank vehicles, whether loaded or empty, used to transport hazardous materials; (c) Vehicles transporting any hazardous material requiring the vehicle to be placarded; or (d) High-risk vehicles described in ORS that are not otherwise described in this subsection, when operating in interstate commerce. (7) Except when a train or rail fixed guideway system vehicle is approaching, the driver of a commercial bus is not required to stop at crossings where the Department of Transportation has determined and plainly marked that no stop need be made.

16 OAR (4)After stopping at a railway crossing as required by law, the driver shall turn off any noise producing device with the exception of two-way radio communication. The driver shall then open the bus entrance door and driver window, look and listen for an approaching train, then close the door before proceeding across the track. If visibility is poor, the driver may have to rely even more on hearing. The driver must open the window as well as the door and should control the noise level by instructing the students to be quiet. The bus should be stopped near the right-hand edge of the right traffic lane. If conditions permit, the driver may pull off the traveled portion of the road to permit following traffic to pass. The use of hazard warning lights is suggested at railroad stops. The use of the bus safety lights is, of course, illegal.

17 Train School Bus Collision: Lafayette, Oregon Time and Date: 8:10 AM, September 8, 1976 Weather Conditions: Clear Event: A 1972 GMC Superior 66 passenger school bus struck at a passive rail-highway grade crossing by a Southern Pacific freight train consisting of a locomotive and caboose only. Injuries: 42 bus passengers, 3 killed, 37 injured, driver injured, freight train no injuries. Accident Report: McMinnville School District files

18 Telegraph pole 203’ 59’6” Lafayette OR September 8, 1976

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26 IDENTIFING ROUTE HAZARDS AT RAILROAD CROSSINGS NTSB Recommendations  Provide guidance regarding vehicle positioning on roadway.  Develop plan for identification of school bus route hazards.  Routinely monitor and evaluate all regular and substitute school bus drivers.  Establish procedures to systematically monitor school bus driver compliance with railroad crossing requirements.  Advise drivers of railroad/highway grade crossing characteristics.

27 ROUTE HAZARDS CONTINUED Items of Importance  Type of crossing Single track Multiple tracks Protected or not  Short queuing areas Room to stop between multi tracks Room to stop after crossing and before entering intersection Room to stop after intersection before crossing tracks

28 ROUTE HAZARDS CONTINUED  Road design Hills before crossing (limiting ) Curves Road surface (paved or gravel) Multi lanes (which lane to stop in) Width of road (room to pull to right)  Railroad/highway signal interaction Traffic signals controlled by the crossing Traffic signals not controlled (timing) Stop signs Traffic speed

29 ROUTE HAZARDS CONTINUED  Limited visibility Buildings Trees Bushes Curved tracks Low sun (certain times of year)  Reporting problems and changes Advise supervisor, giving exact details Fill out form

30 Special Procedures: Police Officer or Flagman at the Crossing If a police officer or properly-identified railroad flagman is at the crossing, obey directions. If there is no flagman, and you believe the signals are malfunctioning, call your dispatcher to report the situation and find out how to proceed. Some crossings have a number posted for reporting problems. Obstructed View of Tracks Plan your route so it provides maximum sight distance at highway rail grade crossings. Do not attempt to cross the tracks unless you can see far enough down the track that no trains are approaching. Be especially careful at "passive" crossings without gates, flashing lights or bells. Even if there are active railroad signals, and they indicate the tracks are clear, you must look and listen to be sure it is safe to proceed.

31 Special Procedures Continued: Containment or Storage Areas If it won't fit, don't commit! Know the length of your bus and the size of the containment area at highway-rail intersections on the bus route. When approaching a crossing with a signal or STOP sign on the opposite side, pay attention to the amount of room there. Be certain the bus has enough containment or storage area to clear completely the railroad tracks on the other side, in case there is a need to stop. Evacuating a Bus If your bus stalls or is trapped on the tracks, evacuate immediately. Have everyone get off the bus, moving far away from the tracks at an angle, in the direction of the approaching train.

32 CHECKLIST FOR IDENTIFYING POTENTIAL SCHOOL BUS ROUTE HAZARDS AT RAILROAD CROSSINGS Railroad grade crossing identification number_________________________________ Location_______________________________________________________________ How many tracks are present?_____________________________________________ What are the times of the scheduled trains? Passenger__________ Freight_________ YES NO Are the regulatory signs (crossbucks) clearly visible?__________ Are there regulatory devices (lights/gates/bells) present?__________ Are there any unique characteristics to the operation? of the crossing controls (Buildings, Trees, Bushes etc)?__________ If yes, what are they? _______________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________

33 While stopped at the crossing is there enough room to allow the largest bus to be free from obstructing other traffic? __________ After crossing the tracks is there enough room to allow the largest bus to be no closer then 15 feet to the nearest rail? __________ Are there any roadway design features that could affect the safe operation of a school bus at the railroad crossing? __________ If yes, what are they? _______________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ When stopped 15 feet from the nearest rail or at the stop line, approximately how many feet in both directions is there of unobstructed visibility? Left____ Right_____ Diagram of crossing. HAZARDS AT RAILROAD CROSSINGS CONTINUED

34 Checklist for Identifying Potential School Bus Route Fixed Driving Hazards Railroad Grade Crossings Railroad Grade Crossing Identification Number___________________________ Location_________________________________________________________ How many tracks are present?________________________________________ What are the times of the scheduled trains?______________________________ What types of trains use the track?Passenger____Freight____ What are the travel speeds of the trains?________________________________ YES NO Are the regulatory signs (Crossbucks) clearly visible?____ ____ Are there regulatory devices (lights/gates/bells) present?____ ____ Are there any unique characteristics to the operation? of the crossing controls? ____ ____ If yes, what are they?_______________________________ ________________________________________________ ________________________________________________

35 When stopped approximately 15 feet from the nearest railroad track, is there an unobstructed sight distance of approximately 1,000 feet in both directions?________ Is there at least enough room on the other side of the furthest railroad track for the largest school bus to stop without encroaching on the train's right-of-way?________ Are there any roadway design features that could affect the safe operation of a school bus at the railroad crossing?____ ____ If yes, what are they?______________________________ _______________________________________________ _______________________________________________ Any other information that would be important to another school bus driver?__________ ______________________________________________________________________ Diagram on next page. HAZARDS AT RAILROAD CROSSINGS CONTINUED

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