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Illinois Metra considers cameras to stem tide of fatal accidents

Vehicles crossing the railroad

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On behalf of Strom & Associates, Ltd. posted in Mass Transit Accidents on Thursday, March 27, 2014.

A growing number of injuries and deaths at railroad crossings in Illinois have prompted lawmakers and authorities to consider installing surveillance cameras at certain crossing facilities. Statistics show that 253 people died because of railroad accidents in the Chicago area between 2006 and 2011. Those fatal accidents are due, in part, to pedestrians and vehicles disobeying warning bells and lowered gates, according to officials.

Metra, the organization that manages railways in the Chicago area, say they are still not sure exactly where the cameras will be installed. A system for issuing tickets for violators is also in the works. Officials with Metra say that the cameras could serve as a powerful deterrent for drivers who ignore warning lights at dangerous railway crossings.

It appears that the cameras would operate in a similar fashion as existing red-light violation systems. Cameras would be able to snap photos of drivers’ license plates, and those individuals would receive citations. The punishment for those violations has not yet been explained in news articles.
Authorities in the city say they are trying to cut down on the number of fatal mass transit accidents that occur throughout the region. Although drivers play a role in the railway crossing deaths, train operators also have a responsibility to stay vigilant and avoid striking others’ vehicles. Public transportation operators should be properly trained and equipped to avoid such fatal accidents.

Victims who have been injured in mass transit accidents may have suffered serious injuries. Those individuals may be able to recover financial damages from a variety of parties, including public transportation agencies. A professional personal injury lawyer may provide additional information about victims’ legal rights and options.

Source: Daily Herald, “Metra considers cameras at gate crossings” Marni Pyke, Mar. 22, 2014

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