Mock wreck reminds of railroad track dangers - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Mock wreck reminds of railroad track dangers

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Officals said parents need to remind kids how dangerous trains are. Officals said parents need to remind kids how dangerous trains are.
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HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

The Huntsville-Madison Railroad Authority teamed with Alabama Operation Lifesaver Tuesday morning to hold a mock trespass event.

The mock wreck was held to raise awareness about the dangers of being on or around railroad tracks. The event was held at the Railroad Authority headquarters on Woodson Street in downtown Huntsville.

People trespassing onto railroad tracks have become a deadly problem in the Tennessee Valley. In the last year, five pedestrians died in Madison County alone after a train hit them.

Between 2005 and 2010, 2,749 pedestrians were killed on railroad tracks, according to the Federal Railroad Administration. That's about 458 deaths a year. Of those killed, most of them were men in their late 30's.

Up until 2011, railroads were not were not required to report suicides. But starting in 2008, the administration started asking for suicide statistics. They found 28 percent were suicides, 60 percent were accidental and 12 percent were undetermined based on coroner's reports.

Officals said parents need to remind kids how dangerous trains are.

"They talk to their children about drugs and doing their homework; we need to remind them to stay off the railroad tracks, especially in Madison County, you've got tracks everywhere," said Nancy Hudson.

Last year, a Lee High School student was hit by a train as he was walking along the tracks with his headphones on. The FRA says that is a very rare occurrence, with less than 2 percent of people being killed while listening to music.

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