Reporter: Alex Zequiera
You are coming up to the train tracks, and, all of a sudden, you see the guardrail starting to come down. Do you speed up or slow down? It's a split-second decision that could cost you your life.
Already, seven people have died on South Florida railroads this year.
Now, local police are beefing up patrols around railroad crossings. It's a week-long effort to try to get the word out to be careful when crossing the railroad tracks.
This weeks marks the third annual Train Safety Awareness Week. Officers from more than 36 law enforcement agencies will join with volunteers from Amtrak, Tri-Rail, the Florida Department of Transportation and other organizations to hand out pamphlets and brochures promoting railroad safety, especially in our area where there have been already seven fatalities in Broward and Palm Beach Counties.
Across the country, statistics show that a train collides with a pedestrian, a vehicle or some other kind of object every two hours. The state of Florida actually ranks third for trespassing fatalities and seventh for vehicular fatalities.
People will be getting brochures that have a couple tips and tricks on staying safe at a railroad crossing. When you see those cross guards coming down and the lights flashing, you need to stop, think about your life, think about everything that's going on, and think about your surroundings. It's only going to take another 45 seconds to a minute for that train to pass by.