Killeen police netted 60 citations for disregarding a railroad signal and two citations for parked on a track, among others, during a train safety patrol Tuesday morning.
Texas has the highest number of trespassing incidents resulting in injury or death, police said in a news release before the trackside news conference that launched the special patrol.
The Killeen Police Department collaborated with BNSF Railway to bring attention to the risks by putting an officer on the train, as well having patrols, in support of International Level Crossing Awareness Day.
On Tuesday, in the parking lot behind the Killeen Post Office, three officers stood by as they waited for the train. Once the train arrived one officer boarded the train and two officers arrived on each side of the railroad crossing. Once the train passed, the patrol officers were on motorcycles and watched for any violators.
The officer boarded the train to experience approaching a railroad crossing from a locomotive engineer’s perspective, according to police.
“This event is to let the community know how dangerous crossing the railroad tracks can be, either if you’re a pedestrian walking or driving in a car. If you were walking and wanted to cross safely, you would cross where the arms and the lights are at,” said Ofelia Miramontez Killeen Police Department spokeswoman Tuesday, near the track.
Texas law requires motorists to stop no closer than 15 feet or farther than 50 feet from the nearest rail if; a clearly visible signal, a crossing gate or barrier is lowered, or a flagger warns of the approach of a train. Motorists must also stop if the warning barriers are being lowered, are already down or are being opened, and must remain stopped until the barriers are fully opened, police said in a related news release.
Tuesday evening, KPD reported the following: Between 9 a.m. and noon, officer's observed violations at eight locations and took the following actions;
- 60 citations were issued for Disregard Railroad Signal
- 6 citations were issued for Parked on Tracks
- 4 citations were issued for No Seat Belt
- 3 citations were issued for Fail to Stop at Railroad Crossing
- 3 citations were issued for No Driver’s License
- 2 citations were issued for No Insurance
- 2 citations were issued for Interference with Railroad Property
- 1 citation was issued for Fail to Display Driver’s License
- 1 citation was issued for Driving While License Invalid
- 1 citation was issued for Ran Red Light
- 1 citation was issued for Loud Noise
- A total of 84 citations were issued for various violations.
- One arrest was made for Interference with Railroad Property due to the fact the subject would not sign the citation.