County Task Force Information


Copy of resolution to set up Darke County Task Force

We Advocate

The Darke County Commissioners and the recently appointed members of the county's railroad safety task force are to be commended for their ongoing efforts to address this serious problem.

According to information provided by the commissioners, there have been 11 people killed at railroad crossings in Darke County in the past 20 years. Many of these crossings have insufficient markings, no lights or crossing arms.

While adequate warning of these approaching crossings is no guarantee motorists will not ignore the lights or go around the crossing arms, it certainly decreases the possibility they will.

Additionally, it most assuredly would make motorists, especially in the early-morning or evening hours when visibility is reduced and motorists are a little less attentive, more aware of an approaching train.

Although safer rail crossings do not ensure there will be no car-train accidents and the subsequent fatalities, statistically their existence has proven to reduce the frequency of these serious accidents.

A resolution approved by the commissioners this week stated they "wish to identify, view and study railroad crossings within the county which are considered unsafe." Additionally, the resolution said, they seek to study the causes and problems on the unsafe crossings and use funds from available sources to correct these dangerous situations.


By: Michael Buckmaster, News Editor

The Darke County Commissioners are continuing their efforts to get gates and signals at every railroad crossing in the county.

Commissioner Robert Downing said he attended a STIP/TIP public meeting in Darke County April 9 and since the gathering has written to Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) officials regarding the issue.

He said the letter he wrote was as a private citizen and landowner.

Downing reiterated his belief railroads are for-profit entities, and, as such, should be responsible for providing safe crossings.

Commissioner Michael Rhoades added they have been meeting with State Rep. Keith Faber and State Sen. Jim Jordan about their concerns.

"We're trying to get the better railroad crossings across the county," Rhoades emphasized. "ODOT is listening to us."

Rhoades noted Versailles and Wayne Township officials have been working with the commissioners on the effort. "Eventually, we'd like to have gates and lights at every railroad, if feasible," he concluded.



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