Poteau Police Monitor Railroad Crossings To Ward Against Deadly Accidents

POTEAU (KFSM) -- Officers with the Poteau Police Department and the Kansas City Southern Railroad Police monitored several railroad crossings and drivers as they crossed tracks in Poteau on Wednesday (May 31).

"It's not about giving citations. It's about educating folks. Whatever the officer feels is necessary to make them feel like that person got the point to where they are going to drive safely from that point on. That's what that officer will do," Poteau Assistant Chief Greg Russell said.

The two departments have conducted the investigation five times since 2012.

Grady, Dewey and North Witte crossings were monitored with police officers stationed at each crossing. The assistant chief was aboard a Kansas City Southern train as it went up and down the tracks several times within an hour.

"Not yielding to the warning devices, trying to beat the cross arms coming down, not yielding at crossing lights, stopping too close, stopping too far away. We also have problems with trespassing violations where people can be walking across railroad tracks," Russell said these are problems they've seen in the past.

In total, six citations were issued during the investigation.