Railroad Blitz Partnership
It's the last sound you want to hear when trying to cross the track, and the last thing you want to see while in between the crossing bars is a train.
In just this year, Mississippi has seen multiple fatal train accidents.
"So, as of July 31, according to the federal railroad administration, we had nine fatalities in the state of Mississippi and I anticipate there will more as we go through the year," Mississippi Operation Lifesaver, executive director, Kim Sloan said.
That's why Sloan, the Petal police, and fire departments stood on the corners of South Railroad Ave., trying to increase the public awareness and telling them to use caution when crossing the tracks.
"So that's why its important to just make people aware," Sloan said. "If you don't know about any type of danger, or how many people actually lost their lives at crossings in the state, it may not be something that you think about."
Thinking is something everyone needs to do, because recently Petal officers had to deal with a similar incident.
"About a month ago, somebody tried to go around the arms and they got hit by the train," Petal office, Sgt. Wayne Bounds said. "We just want to make people aware that when the light starts flashing, that doesn't mean gas it and try to go around the arms. It means stop!"
A dangerous situation that could be easily avoided by taking three easy steps.
"They need to stop, look, and listen," Bounds said. "You know just because the lights are not on it doesn't mean a train isn't coming. I mean it doesn't take but a second to stop and look, that's all it takes."
"It's important for us to remind people that anytime is train time," Sloan said. "Always look both ways, listen for the train horn and live."
(For more information about Mississippi Operation Lifesaver visit oli.org)