An El Reno, OK man was killed last night attempting to cross a railroad crossing on his tractor trailer when he was killed by a Union Pacific train. The rural crossing had no active warning devices whatsoever – no electronic lights, no protective gate. To most of us, that sounds like an unguarded crossing.
Railroad companies, however, have managed to get away with calling the railroad crossing sign at such crossings “passive warning devices” – a clever linguistic spin which is not imitated in Europe, where they call these like they see them: unguarded crossings. Signs which say “RR” are clearly not adequate when hundreds of citizens each year are losing their lives and thousands more being injured at deadly crossings. What is needed is functioning, protective warning devices to protect the public, so that tragedies like these are eliminated.