When you approach an intersection that has a train crossing, what do you expect? Some flashing lights, a ringing bell and some mechanical arms to block the road if a train is coming. It seems a pretty basic system that helps prevent serious car accidents from occurring.
However, to the southwest of New Haven is the city of Stamford, Connecticut, where an intersection that has a train crossing does not have the arm apparatus to protect cars from entering the intersection at a dangerous time. There are lights and bells to warn oncoming vehicles; but that hasn't prevented a handful of devastating accidents from happening over the years.
According to one resident who lives near the intersection, he has seen four accidents at the train crossing in the eight years he has resided by it. Another resident who has lived nearby for 20 years has seen six such accidents.
Now, you can add another accident to the list. A man and his son were driving in a car when they were struck by a train after entering the train crossing. The locomotive was barreling right at him, but thanks to the man's quick decision to slam on the gas, the train only struck the rear of the vehicle, likely sparing his life and his son's.
The question now turns to the property owners who refuse to install a more intricate safety system at the intersection. The area is privately owned, and the owners say it is too expensive to install such a system. But with so many accidents on the books already, there could be civil action taken against them. They have a responsibility to maintain a safe premises.
Source: Stamford Advocate, "Train strikes car at unprotected Stamford crossing," John Nickerson and Martin B. Cassidy, Aug. 26, 2013