An event to raise awareness and safety along the railroad was held on Friday to lower Indiana’s ranking as the third in the nation for train and pedestrian or car collisions.
The enforcement blitz took place at the Main Street crossing in Mishawaka beginning at 9:30 a.m. as well as the Byrkit Street crossing on the south side of Mishawaka beginning at 1 p.m.
NewsCenter 16 caught up with a Mishawaka officer and railroad police who were walking and driving along the Norfolk Southern Line.
They were giving out pamphlets to motorists and watching for trespassers in an effort to enforce the dangers of disregarding railroad crossing laws.
St. Joseph County is one of the top counties in the Hoosier State with accidents.
The Main St. crossing in downtown Mishawaka has been the site of numerous rail pedestrian/car collisions in the past.
Even though there are no signs posted, being on or near the tracks is illegal.
“A common perception is that walking along the tracks is perfectly legal, there is nothing wrong with it,” said Corporal Jeff Price of the Mishawaka Police Department. “If I see a train, I will jump out of the way and no problem. However in Indiana law it is actually against the law it's actually a criminal misdemeanor, railroad trespass. The tracks right behind be the Norfolk Southern, there is an average of fifty five trains per day, the average train can go anywhere between fifty five and seventy miles per hour.”
Police have been running several enforcement blitzes throughout the state all week as part of Indiana Rail Safety Week.
Local police along with South Shore Transit Police, Canadian National Railroad Police and Norfolk Southern Railroad Police were involved.