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BR on list of railroad crossings with most incidents in past 10 years

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WASHINGTON - A crossing in Baton Rouge has made the national list of railroad crossings with the most incidents over the past decade, according to a study aimed at reducing fatalities at those sites.

The crossing that appears on the list is located near the intersection of North Foster Drive and Choctaw Drive. According to the FRA report, that crossing alone has seen 13 individual incidents over the past 10 years, though none of those have resulted in deaths.

The report was put together by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration and released on Thursday. 15 crossings made the list, including the Baton Rouge site, with each having seen 10 or more incidents in the last decade.

The list was created after FRA Administrator Sarah Feinberg wrote a letter to DOT secretaries urging increased cooperation to improve overall safety at crossings. FRA expertise and federal money is needed to resolve the issues.

“Knowing where repeat injuries and fatalities occur helps states focus their time and resources on areas where they can have an impact,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.  “Preventing incidents and fatalities at railroad crossings is one of the Department’s top priorities, and I urge states to work with FRA to achieve this life-saving goal.”

The report included data taken from the nation’s more than 200,000 railroad crossings. Fatalities haven’t occurred at all of the top 15 most dangerous crossings, but the potential for injuries could lead to loss of life due to the repeated incidents.

You can view the intersection on Google Maps by clicking here. The full list is below:

The common factor among the 15 crossings is that they are all near busy, multi-lane intersection that see significant truck traffic with tracks that cross roadways diagonally. The affected crossings also have train warning systems that are tied to traffic lights. The report calls for proper sequencing of these systems to aid in preventing more crashes. Fifty percent of the affected crossings have systems of this type.

“I urge our state partners to join FRA in taking additional actions to improve crossing safety. I know that, together, we can do more to save lives,” Administrator Sarah E. Feinberg wrote to states in a letter.  “FRA is ready and willing to help our partners in any way we can.”

A new, comprehensive program was launched by the FRA last year to combat the recent increase in deaths at railroad crossings. The campaign looks to partner with tech companies, using FRA data to pinpoint the nation’s roughly 200,000 railroad crossings and to add crossing alerts to map applications like Waze, Google Maps and Apple Maps.

Last year, a total of 244 people died at railroad crossings, down just 20 from the year prior.

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