Motorists will have a chance to receive rewards for safe driving practices at the highway-rail grade crossing in Hazen on Saturday as part of a nationwide rail safety awareness program.
Rail safety promotional items will be presented to drivers who obey the railroad crossing signs at this crossing from 9-11:30 a.m. that day, according to Rich Gent of Fallon, Nevada Operation Lifesaver’s state coordinator. A promotional tent will be set up at the crossing and Union Pacific will have a representative on hand, he added.
The event in Hazen is part of the “International Level Crossing Awareness” celebration being staged by Nevada Operation Lifesaver and partners across the United States.
Even though Nevada normally has very low incident rates, Gent emphasized the importance of safety at highway-rail grade crossings, as illustrated by a recent truck-train collision in Hazen. The Operation Lifesaver website warns motorists to not take any railroad crossing for granted. Gent noted that an average freight train traveling 55 mph needs a mile to a mile-and-a-half to come to a complete stop.
“Even slow-moving freight trains like the Fallon branch going through town, people just don’t understand how dangerous they can be,” he said.