When crossing the tracks you may think you’re doing everything right.
“When there’s a train approaching, something in my brain will indicate to me to take my headphones out of my ears and try to reduce the volume,” Lucas Marketti said. “I usually listen to my volume at a very subtle level so that I can hear everything around me.”
But just listening for the train isn’t enough. Illinois State Police say new technology has made trains quieter over the years. Also, trains don’t always honk their horns when they’re crossing.
“A lot of times people depend on the lights,” Illinois State Trooper Tracy Lillard said. “They depend on the sound, they depend on the signals, but sometimes those gates might not be working, so it’s always best to pull up and stop and look and listen to see if you see an approaching train.
Since 2011, Champaign County has seen 12 train collisions. Vermilion County had eight collisions, Coles had five and Piatt had two.
Some of these crossings don’t even have gates. Tropper Lillard says people get used to driving over these tracks everyday without looking.
“People get very immune to ‘ah, I’ve done it a hundred times, I’ve never been hit. and then all of a sudden an accident happens.”
She says you need to avoid distractions, especially around tracks. This goes for pedestrians too. If you have a bike, walk it over the tracks. Troopers remind folks to never try to judge whether or not they can beat the train.