Railroad Crossings in Rio Grande Valley Monitored for Safety

Union Pacific Police, LFPD and County Constable Pct. 4 worked together to monitor Los Fresnos railroad crossings for safety.

Union Pacific Police, LFPD and County Constable Pct. 4 worked together to monitor Los Fresnos railroad crossings for safety.

Los Fresnos PD and Pct 4 Constables Record 20 Violations Within Two Hour Period

Story and photos by Victor Moreno/LFN

Media representatives from various media outlets were invited to ride in the cab of a locomotive with Union Pacific Police and local law enforcement officers from Los Fresnos Police Department and County Constables Pct. 4 on Tuesday, July 18, 2017, while they observed motorists’ behavior at railroad grade crossings.

Freight trains traveling 55 miles per hour take more than a mile to stop, which is why drivers are urged to stop in designated areas when railroad signals, flashers and gates indicate a train is approaching. The event was part of Union Pacific’s Crossing Accident Reduction Education and Safety (UP CARES) program, which brings together communities in a collaborative and caring effort to promote railroad crossing and pedestrian safety.

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Officers riding inside the locomotive observed motorist behavior at railroad crossings and dispatch officers were positioned nearby if motorists ignore signals and warnings. Additionally, officers were looking for pedestrians crossing or walking on the tracks. This was a joint operation, combining efforts and resources from the Los Fresnos, San Benito and Harlingen police departments; along with the Texas Department of Public Safety, Cameron County Constables and Union Pacific Police.

The operation was held over two days. There were several half hour train rides taken by law enforcement officers between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon on July 18, 2017, with the train covering crossings in Los Fresnos. The operation then moved to San Benito in the afternoon, with train rides available between 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.

Union Pacific Police Sr. Special Agent Rodriguez addresses television media on the railroad’s safety outreach and public safety campaigns.

Union Pacific Police Sr. Special Agent Rodriguez addresses television media on the railroad’s safety outreach and public safety campaigns.

During the first day of the operation Los Fresnos PD and County Constables from precinct 4 performed 20 traffic stops during the two hour period.

The second day of the operation had rides beginning at 10:00 a.m., with the last ride starting at 12:00 p.m. covering crossings in Harlingen.

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Media representatives met at 200 N. Brazil Street, in Los Fresnos at 9:30 a.m. for a safety briefing and introductions with Union Pacific Police Sr. Special Agent Rodriguez and Special Agent Sosa and then boarded the two engines used for the operation, after which Sr. Special Agent Rodriguez addressed the media on the railroad’s strategic safety outreach and public safety campaigns.

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