Impact of COVID-19 on Agriculture

Farm Bureau Urges Farmers to Be Safe Around Farm Railway Crossings

Podcasts / Newsline September 22, 2020

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This week is Rail Safety week and the American Farm Bureau Federation is promoting safety tips for farmers and ranchers around railroad crossings. Micheal Clements shares ways you can prevent accidents at railway crossings.

Clements: Operation Lifesaver partners with American Farm Bureau and other groups during Rail Safety Week to remind farm equipment operators to pay extra attention where field and farm access roads cross train tracks. Operation Lifesaver Executive Director Rachel Maleh says Rail Safety Week promotes ways to be safe around crossings.

Maleh: Rail Safety Week is a concentrated effort on the work that we do on a daily basis which is getting the rail safety message out to keep people and communities safe on and around railroad tracks. This year we’re joined by our partners in Canada as well as Mexico, making Rail Safety Week a true North American effort.

Clements: So far in 2020, Operation Lifesaver reports 149 accidents at private railway crossings on farms. Maleh offers these tips for farmers as they cross private railway crossings.

Maleh: When you come up on a crossing, especially on farms, slow down as you approach the crossing, stop, look both ways. You want to make sure you stop at least 15 feet from the crossing because trains can overhang the track. You want to look and listen for a train. Look both ways and look again before you cross. And then you want to cross when it’s clear. Once you start crossing the track you don’t want to hesitate, and you don’t want to change gears.

Clements: If equipment gets stuck on the tracks, Maleh says to leave the vehicle and call the number on the blue and white crossing locator sign or call 911. She urges farmers to explore more railway safety tips online.

Maleh: The best way is to go to our website, And you can learn more about Operation Lifesaver, connect with a state coordinator, download videos, posters and safety messages.

Clements: Micheal Clements, Washington.

Read Rachel Maleh's Focus on Agriculture column on Rail Safety Week.

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