Sheffield students instructed on hazards around train tracks

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SHEFFIELD, Ala. – Four decades after Operation Lifesaver began in Alabama, the numbers are still alarming. The state ranks near the top of the list in vehicle-train collisions.

While there has been a decrease, Operation Lifesaver says there is still a lot to do.

It could only take a split second for any one of these kids to lose their life. They are Driver’s Ed students at Sheffield High School.

Fifteen-year-old Angel Napalit knows how precious life can be.

101316-co-operation-lifesaver-5pm-pkg3“I’ve known a friend who actually got killed by a train because they were not aware of their surroundings,” Napalit said. “They just tried to get through the railroad tracks.”

In 2015, Alabama Operation Lifesaver said there were 90 collisions with trains at highway crossings in the state. Of those, five people died.

101316-co-operation-lifesaver-5pm-pkgNancy Hudson said that’s way too many. So she is traveling the state to teach young drivers about the hazards around railroad crossings.

“Yes the numbers have come down, drastic reduction. But we are still number six in the nation for vehicle-train collisions,” Hudson explained.

And Hudson hopes if she can reach kids like this across the state, the numbers will continue to decline.

According to Alabama Operation Lifesaver, one the biggest problems they have involving train incidents is people walking along the tracks and not getting out of the way. They say walking along train tracks is considered trespassing.