As reported by The Baltimore Sun, approximately 80 percent of the public grade railroad crossings in the state of Maryland are ungated crossings. One example is the Hollins Ferry Road crossing just beyond the Baltimore beltway which the Federal Railroad Administration considers among Maryland’s most dangerous railroad crossings. It was the scene of an event that nearly claimed the lives of a mother and her three year old twins just last year.
The mother was in the process of crossing the railroad tracks in her Honda Pilot when suddenly a train appeared in the Pilot’s window. No warning sounded, no safety bar lowered, and the train was almost upon her. The Linthicum resident successfully out raced the approaching freight train by flooring the Honda. Her experience illustrates how dangerous hundreds of Maryland’s railroad crossings without gates can be. At some Maryland crossings there is only a stop sign.
According to The Associated Press, tracks were only recently repaired and put back into service on after a violent crash between a trash truck and a freight train occurred at approximately 2:00 p.m. in the Baltimore suburb of Rosedale. The trash truck driver sustained injuries requiring treatment at a local hospital. Two CSC operators were uninjured in the accident.
Only 20 percent of Maryland’s 631 public grade railroad crossings are gated. At 80 crossings, only a sign, stop sign, or X-shaped crossbuck sign is present. The remaining ungated crossings use flashing lights or bells to signal the approach of a freight train.
Fifty-two accidents happened at Maryland railroad crossings between 2010 and 2012. Four of those accidents were fatal.
At the firm of Alpert Schreyer, LLC, our Maryland personal injury attorneys recognize how serious an accident involving a freight train and a vehicle can be. Accidents can be caused by neglectful train operators, lack of proper maintenance, or poorly designed safety alert systems at crossings. If you or someone you love becomes involved in an accident at an unsafe Maryland public grade railroad crossing, and the fault is another’s, call us at (844) 632-7274 for a cost-free case evaluation.