Increased deaths reveal shortcomings in railroad crossing safety - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Increased deaths reveal shortcomings in railroad crossing safety

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TIFTON, GA (WALB) -

More than 3,300 public rail crossing throughout the state lack gate and bell systems. The absence is proving to be lethal with 47 highway rail crossing deaths or injuries being totaled last year.

The impact was felt in the Tift County community last year where two young men died.

"My two cousins had a tragedy, where the train hit them because there were no lights," said Tifton resident Larry Dean Sr. "It kind of tears the community apart, so we need to do something to get that straightened out."

Chris Bolden, an engineer with the Department of Transportation says they must account for vehicle traffic and prior incidents before deciding next where to install the systems. The department receives $8 million federally every year for railroad crossing safety.

The systems cost between $250,000-$350,000.

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