Train Accidents Drop in Number

November 28, 2005

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Train safety experts say the number of accidents has decreased dramatically over the last 30 years.

But they say educating motorists is still a big priority.

Chip Pew is the Illinois coordinator for a national organization that promotes rail safety. He says last week's Metra accident involving 15 cars shows drivers still fall victim to what he calls the lemming effect.

""If one person moves up an inch, the person behind them moves up an inch, and the person behind them moves up an inch,"" Pew says. ""We certainly understand all those factors about being in a hurry and being late and that type of stuff. (But) you really have to think about not crossing the track 'til you're absolutely sure you're going to get all the way across.""

He says there are about 200 train incidents per year in the state.

That's down from 800 in 1976, when there were fewer trains and cars on the roads.


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