The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet wants to use $3.35 million in federal funds to prevent accidents and increase safety at 19 railroad crossings around the commonwealth by adding crossing gates and other safety equipment.
“We are working closely with the railroad companies to ensure that crossings have adequate safety devices in place.” said Governor Ernie Fletcher. “We have prioritized a number of crossings that will be upgraded with this funding.”
Over the past two years the Transportation Cabinet has administered more than $8 million in federal funding for railroad crossing safety upgrades.
Operation Lifesaver, a group that focuses on railroad safety, applauded Governor Fletcher’s action.
“Our core mission is to support and facilitate engineering, enforcement and education programs that will curb the number of vehicle-versus-train or trespass injury incidents,” said Kentucky’s state coordinator for Operation Lifesaver, Wayne Gentry. “This collaborative effort between the Governor, Transportation Cabinet and railroad companies will greatly improve safety and most surely save lives.”
According to Operation Lifesaver, a person or vehicle is hit by a train every two hours in the United States. About half of all crossing collisions occur at highway-rail intersections with flashing lights and/or gates.
All crossing upgrades should be completed next year, according to Fletcher.
Source: Office of the Governor of Kentucky
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