Task Force Information
of resolution to set up Darke County Task Force
RAIL SAFETY TASK FORCE IS GOOD IDEA
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.
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
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,
The Darke County
Commissioners are continuing their efforts to get gates and
signals at every railroad crossing in the county.
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
He said the letter
he wrote was as a private citizen and landowner.
his belief railroads are for-profit entities, and, as such,
should be responsible for providing safe crossings.
Rhoades added they have been meeting with State Rep. Keith
Faber and State Sen. Jim Jordan about their concerns.
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.