Utah Rail Safety week will begin Sunday, September 12th! This is a statewide effort to educate drivers, pedestrians, cyclists and scooterists about the importance of railroad crossing safety.

Why is Rail Safety Week needed? 


Although rail crossing incidents and fatalities have been on the decline for decades, the number of drivers going around gates at railroad crossings has spiked in recent years. In 2018, 99 people were killed because a driver went around a lowered gate, marking a 10-year high. Overall in 2018, 270 people were killed at railroad crossings, contributing a five year total of 798 fatalities involving motor vehicles at railroad crossings.

These deaths are avoidable.

Many drivers do not yield to signs, lights, and crossing because they underestimate the risk — they think they can beat a train. They can’t. FrontRunner is running 55-75 miles per hour and can take up to one mile to stop. TRAX can also get up to 65 miles per hour in certain areas.


Seven Ways to Stay Safe Near Rail 

Follow these simple rules when driving near railroad tracks and trains. 


1. Stop for flashing red lights

It is illegal to go around a lowered crossing gate, to ignore signs or flashing lights posted at a railroad crossing. Even after you have seen the train pass and the rails lift, you must wait until the red lights stop flashing. Proceeding through the crossing while the lights are still flashing red you are not only risking your life (and possible passenger’s) and a heavy fine.



2. Don’t race to beat the train

Never race a train. It is easy to misjudge a train’s speed and distance from the crossing. A train traveling at 55 miles per hour takes up to one mile to stop — the length of 18 football fields — after applying the emergency brakes.



3. Don't turn left without looking for trains

Even at slower speeds in city environments, a collision with TRAX can be fatal. Often drivers, overlook or ignore signage indicating the trains are proceeding through the intersection. Always look ahead to see if a train is there before turning left. 


4. Don't stop on train tracks

Before entering a railroad crossing, check that there is enough room on the other side of the tracks for your vehicle to cross completely and safely. Be aware that you may need to cross multiple sets of tracks at some railroad crossings. If you find yourself parked on a set of track, back up as quickly as you can. Even if you have to break the gates. 


5. Don't drive around gates

They are there for a reason — to keep everyone safe. These active-signaling crossings help reduce incidents, but still require drivers to respect them, allowing everyone to move safely through our communities. 


6. Don't drive distracted

Trains are not forgiving, they cannot swerve, stop quickly or change direction. If you see rails, give your driving your full attention by putting your phone away.



7. Don't cut in front of trains

Just yield. It’s not worth your life or the lives of those traveling with you.A train takes up to a mile to stop, so don’t cut in front of a train at any time.


Be a Rail Safety Advocate!

  1. Attend yourself or encourage a friend or family member to attend one of the events below.
  2. Share this your blog with those you’d like to keep safe while they drive in Utah.
  3. Amplify our safety messages shared at @RideUTA this week — like, share, comment.

Safety Week Events

Monday, September 13
Safety Week Awareness Press Conference: 11 a.m. @ 200 South Rail Crossing Rail Safety Drivers Ed Presentation: 3:00 p.m. @ Pleasant Grove High School


Tuesday, September 14
Operation Clear Track UTA, Provo and South Salt Lake Police Departments, along with the Utah Highway Patrol will participate in law enforcement activities at railroad crossings: 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.


North Salt Lake Center Street: Center Street 200 W.,
Salt Lake City Ballpark Station Crossing: 1300 S. 180 W., Salt Lake City
Central Pointe Crossing: 2100 S. 221 W., Salt Lake City
Millcreek Crossing: 3300 S. 210 W., South Salt Lake City
Provo Central Crossing: 701 S. Freedom Blvd, Provo


Thursday, September 16
Transit Safety Awareness UTA Riders Education: 5-7 p.m. @ North Temple FrontRunner Station and Provo Central FrontRunner Station.
BYU Police Safety Awareness Fair: 11:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. @ BYU Campus at Brigham Square


Friday, September 17
New Driver Safety Awareness High School Awareness - Football Game Locations: Fremont High School, Clearfield High School, Copper Hills High School, West Jordan High School, American Fork High School.


Saturday, September 18
Safety Awareness 6th Annual Get Ready Fair: 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. @ Davis Hospital and Medical Center

Rail Safety Week Partners

UTA, in partnership with State of Utah, the Governor’s Office, Utah Operation Lifesaver, UDOT, Utah State Office of Education, Utah Trucking Association, and Utah Highway, is proud to be a part of this week-long education campaign to help reduce the number of fatalities at Utah’s railroad crossings.













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