No matter how many warnings you throw at drivers, some just completely ignore them and risk their lives to save a few seconds.

There are over 1000 miles of train tracks throughout Maine and almost 3000 railroad crossings, some of which are protected with warning lights and/or gates, and some in more rural areas with simple crossbucks like this one.

Google Maps
Google Maps

When drivers do not approach these crossings with caution, they can be in danger of being hit by a train.

Check out this video shot on Larrabee Road in Westbrook in 2013 where a car decides to ignore the flashing red lights and the horn from the approaching train and blow through the crossing, coming very close to being pushed down the tracks by the locomotive.

Granted, this train was not moving fast, but it doesn't have to be. If the driver had crossed just 3 seconds later, the locomotive would have collided with it and pushed the car down the tracks until it came to a stop by being placed in emergency, where every brake on every car is put on to bring the train to a stop as quickly as can be.

The bottom line here is that whenever you approach a railroad crossing, expect a train. They can't stop quickly enough to avoid hitting you, even at the speed this train was moving.

Also keep in mind that even if a railroad crossing has an "exempt" sign on it, that does not mean trains don't run on those tracks. Here's a prime example of that in South Portland.

If the lights are flashing. Stop. Don't proceed until the lights stop flashing even if you don't see a train. Wouldn't you rather be a little late to where you're going, than not make it there at all by trying to beat the train?

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