Railroad crossing safety issues are becoming an increasing concern in Oklahoma. An accident in Oklahoma over the summer that claimed the life of a woman and her 3 children highlighted the dangers of train crossings for many. A recent news investigation revealed documents that recommended upgrades to the railroad crossing where the fatal accident occurred. The upgrades had been recommended for 5 years but were never made. Shortly after the train accident killing the woman and her children, a resolution was passed to make improvements, using emergency funds, to the railroad crossing in question, including a crossing gate and flashing lights.

The investigation also revealed that another Oklahoma crossing, a few blocks from where the woman and her children were killed in the train accident over the summer, has been in need of recommended improvements since 2011, according to the documents the investigation turned up.

Further, many railroad crossings in the eastern Oklahoma area require safety improvements and that, though funding is available to help with the improvements, they are not being made. In fact, in eastern Oklahoma, the investigation revealed that 20 railroad crossings i were marked for improvements. There is a large overall push statewide to upgrade around 300 railroad crossings. A set of criteria, including average daily traffic counts, the number of accidents at each crossing and the condition of each railroad crossing helped to determine which crossings were in need of improvements.

Railroad crossing safety can be a serious concern because of the potentially catastrophic harm victims can suffer in a train accident. It is important for victims and their families to be familiar with the resources available to them when they are harmed in a train accident.

Train accidents can result in a litany of damages, including those to victims and their families who may be left facing the loss of a loved one. It is important that victims and their families are familiar with the legal options available to them to help with the physical, financial and emotional damages commonly suffered in a train accident.

Source: 4029 News, "INVESTIGATION: Deadly railroad crossing marked for safety improvements years ago," Daniel Armbruster, Dec. 5, 2016

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