Railroad accidents highlight risks of pedestrians on tracks

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By: Associated Press

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — The deaths of two pedestrians on railroad tracks are prompting officials and safety advocates to raise awareness of the dangers of risky behavior around the tracks.

The Federal Railroad Administration says the deaths since May 28 mark the greatest total in St. Joseph County in any year since 2012. Nationally, the number of deadly railroad accidents has risen from 405 in 2011 to 501 in 2014.

Railroad officials and safety advocates say most, if not all, of the fatal accidents can be traced to illegal trespassing on railroad property.

The South Bend Tribune reports that Indiana law makes trespassing on railroad property a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Information from: South Bend Tribune, http://www.southbendtribune.com