Think Twice Before Ignoring Railroad Crossing Bars

Posted on Aug 5, 2021 by smithandlee

On December 12th, reported the following story:

A man tried to drive around a railroad crossing bar in Virginia and was struck by an Amtrak train barreling at almost 80 mph on Thursday morning, authorities said. The man was flown to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The Virginia State Police said that alcohol was a factor in the collision. The man, Untron Drew, disregarded both the crossing bar and warning lights, said state police Sgt. Michelle Anaya.

The train had just begun its run from Norfolk to Boston when the crash happened, just before 6 a.m., in the town of Waverly. Amtrak said that there were no injuries among the 49 people on the train, 44 passengers and five crew.

The train did not derail and later continued toward Boston, running about two hours late, Amtrak said.

Drew was driving a police cruiser that had been retired and auctioned, the sergeant said.


“Driver struck by Amtrak train after going around crossing bar.”

NBC news. Universal Group, Web. 12 Dec. 2013.


It’s a huge inconvenience when you’re driving to an appointment, or even running late, and you come upon closing railroad bars. You look down the track and, often, it seems as if the train is miles away.

Flashing lights and paused vehicles seem to be an unnecessary blockage. Individuals can be tempted to forego traffic laws and zigzag through railroad bars.

Don’t do it.

Ignoring the safety signs at a railroad crossing is dangerous, not to mention illegal. New York law imposes criminal penalties against those who disobey warning signals at railroad crossings. The law requires that you stop whenever:

  • A signal, visibly or audibly, provides a warning that a train is approaching;
  • A crossing gate closes, signifying a train is approaching or passing;
  • An approaching train sounds its whistle near a crossing;
  • An approaching train is plainly visible;
  • You are not permitted to drive any vehicle across the tracks, or go through, around, or under any crossing gate or barrier while it is being opened or closed.

If you have found yourself the victim of a railroad accident, contact us today.

We are committed to give your case the resources and attention necessary to maximize your rehabilitation and provide protection and security for you and your family. To speak with an attorney about your case, contact us today by calling 972-771-2579 or toll free at 1-800-548-8128.