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UTA upgrades safety guidelines at train crossings

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - How to keep pedestrians from getting hit by trains is the focus of a new Utah Transit Authority project.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - How to keep pedestrians from getting hit by trains is the focus of a new Utah Transit Authority project.

UTA is focusing on intersections that don't have a crosswalk, but have a pedestrian crossing.

“People are very used to what to do at railroad crossing in a car, the red lights start flashing, you stop, the arm comes down, you wait the arm goes up, the lights stop flashing, and you proceed, but for pedestrians we don't have that same type of a standard,” said Chad Saley, UTA Spokesperson.

The problem in these intersections, Saley said, is distracted walking.

“We have a lot of people walking around starting at things in their hands whether it's a phone or an iPod, people tend to be looking down when they walk,” he said.

With the new safety features anybody looking down will first run into fences that have been installed and be forced to look up. Signs have also been also posted at a low level so anyone looking down will see them along with the new painted warnings on the side walks.

“We can't force someone down the track, but it does force someone to stop and hopefully they'll look both ways up and down the track before they proceed,” said Saley.

The Frontrunner South was built with all the new safety features. Frontrunner North and the mid-Jordan and Draper TRAX lines are all getting the upgrades now.

UTA is upgrading 160 crossings. So far 70 have been completed. UTA expects to finish them all within a year.
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