Norfolk Southern takes active role in promoting railroad safety

Drivers crossing the railroad tracks at Walden Road in south Bibb County were the most recent motorists to get a quick education about railroad crossing safety.

Norfolk Southern railroad engineers Paul Parker and John Pitts, dressed in bright yellow traffic vests, spent the day June 13 handing out brochures to passing cars about safety measures at crossings.

The men were taking part in what Rob Chapman, a spokesman for Norfolk Southern, called a “crossing blitz.”

These operations, Chapman said, take place periodically at crossings the railroad company has identified as ones that could have a high level of accidents.

The company sends employees to these crossings with pamphlets or newsletters about railroad crossing safety.

Parker and Pitts were handing out brochures compiled by Operation Lifesaver, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting railroad safety.

Jennie Glasgow, the state coordinator for Operation Lifesaver in Georgia, said the nonprofit provides the literature for Norfolk Southern because the crossing blitzes are in line with the organization’s mission.

“They’re trying to create additional public awareness about crossings,” she said.

The brochures included tips on staying safe around train tracks, descriptions of the types of warning signs usually present at crossings and information about getting involved with Operation Lifesaver.

The crossing where Parker and Pitts were stationed does not have a gate, but it has flashing signal lights, similar to the crossing at Ignico Drive in Warner Robins where a mother and her infant child were killed last month.

Bibb County sheriff’s Lt. Sean DeFoe said no collisions have been reported at the Walden Road crossing in the past five years.

To contact writer Liz Bibb, call 744-4425.