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Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Drivers breaking rules at railroad crossing

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BATON ROUGE - Law enforcement rode alongside a train today, cracking down on drivers who try to beat the train or stop on the tracks.

Operation Lifesaver, a non-profit organization formed to keep the public safe around railroad tracks and crossings, teamed up with East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office to hand out 30 tickets to drivers. Two of those went to school buses.

"We see people crossing the tracks while the lights are flashing, and the horns are blowing on the train, and people parking on the tracks," said Lt. Elden Gaspard. "Train versus car, the train is going to win."

Driver after driver sped through railroad crossings as lights were flashing and the safety gate lowered. Two school busses were issued tickets, one for failure to open the bus door at a crossing and failing to stop before crossing the tracks.

By law, school buses are required to stop 15 feet before railroad tracks, turn on their flashers, look by opening their doors and their window, and listen for any trains coming before safely moving over the tracks.

"You could put yourself in jeopardy, but some people just refuse to go along with it for whatever reason," said Operation Lifesaver Executive Director Claude Maher.

The East Baton Rouge Parish School system says the drivers were counseled on bus procedures, and dealt with administratively.

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