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Officials Crackdown on Rail Crossing Safety

WATERLOO, Iowa (CBS 2/ FOX 28)- State troppers are cracking down on train laws after they've seen a rise in train-related deaths.

Today they had extra officers watching those potential danger zones.

They say that many drivers try to beat the train to avoid being late to work.

"People are trying to beat the train," Senior Trooper Mark Sigwarth said."Those trains have every right to go up and down those tracks."

For one Corridor man, who spoke with CBS 2 News but didn't want to speak on camera, his backyard are train tracks.

He has watched the trains run up and down those tracks from his home.

And he has also seen the tracks become a graveyard.

On Thursday, one man was struck by a train in Independence-those tracks where he died was just down the tracks from the homeowner's backyard.

State troopers have seen 50 crossing collisions. Five of those were fatal and they're hoping to bring those numbers down.

"Trains are nothing to mess with," Sigwarth said. "They don't stop on a dime, they can't swerve and avoid you."

Drivers who violate the train laws and don't stop behind the crossboard will have to pay a fine of $333.00.

Here are the FRA Crossing and Trespass Statistics for Iowa 2013:

Crossing Collisions-50
Crossing Fatalities-5
Crossing Injuries-25

Trespasser Casualties-9
Trespasser Fatalities-6
Trespasser Injuries-3


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