In North Salt Lake last Thursday, a FrontRunner train came extremely close to a collision with an SUV. The train stopped just a few feet short of a car stuck on the tracks. There were no injuries because of some incredible, safety-focused coordination.
Unusual amounts of congestion were reported all over Utah due to the strange freezing-rain conditions. The FrontRunner crossing on Center Street in Salt Lake was especially congested. There had been reports of cars stopping on the tracks. A UTA supervisor watched the crossing closely, and when the crossing arms came down, and the lights started to flash, and there was still a car stuck on the tracks, he made quick emergency call to the train, telling it to stop.
The FrontRunner can travel up to 79 miles per hour, and can take up to a mile to stop completely. As shown in this photo that came from KSL’s iWitness app, the train stopped just in time.
UTA spokesperson Gerry Carpenter wanted to stress the importance of following train safety guidelines. Drivers need to stop before the crossing in congested areas, and wait to move onto the tracks until it is clear to cross completely. Carpenter reminds motorists that it is illegal to cross tracks once the lights have started flashing. If for some reason you find yourself caught on the tracks when a train is approaching, abandon your vehicle completely.
He says, “We can replace property but we can’t replace human life.”