Dear Editor: Eastside's Junior Service Guild members recently observed traffic at various railroad stop signs in Newton County. Members recorded that of 559 cars observed, 75 percent did not stop at these intersections. Members observed for 20 minutes at each crossing.
Georgia is the sixth state in the nation in the number of collisions at railroad crossings. In the last 10 years, Georgia residents have been involved in over 1,500 train-related accidents with 119 known fatalities.
Many misinformed citizens are under the impression that they are smart enough to know whether or not they can outrun a train. Few are actually aware that looking down train tracks will result in an optical illusion that causes one to think the train is farther away and going slower than it is. Others are under the impression that trains can be stopped easily. In fact, it takes the average 6,000 ton train going 55-miles-per-hour about a mile or more to stop, the equivalent of 18 Sharp Stadiums.
If a stop sign or the possibility of death cannot get a driver's attention, what will? To improve the safety of Newton County citizens, we would like to suggest that yield lights and railroad crossing bars be installed on crossings where they are not currently in place.