From the Farm Desk
Illinois has the second-most railroad crossings in the U.S., and more than 100 collisions occurred in the state last year. Don't become complacent at crossings you see every day, says state safety coordinator.
Illinois has the second-most railroad crossings nationally, with approximately 7,800, and some of them are safer than others, according to Chip Pew, coordinator of Illinois Operation Lifesaver for the Illinois Commerce Commission.
“Of those 7,800, there’s still probably about 2,000 that are passive – just static signs and symbols, no electrical or mechanical lights, bells and gates to give indication to the motorist that a train is coming,”
Only Texas has more crossings than Illinois.
According to statistics from the Federal Railroad Administration, 109 collisions occurred at Illinois rail crossings in 2017, which accounted for 25 deaths and 29 injuries. Only California had more fatalities at crossings, with 38.
“Once the lights at the crossing start flashing, the federal minimum is 20 seconds,” Pew said. “That train has to provide 20 seconds of warning time before it can enter that crossing, so it does give somebody some indication as to how long it’s going to be before the train gets there.”
PATRIOTIC PATH (FarmWeekNow.com) – American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall recently laid out agriculture’s preferred path forward on trade. The five steps do not include a prolonged tariff war with China. “We’re patriots. Probably better patriots than most citizens across this country,” Duvall said. “But we can’t be patriots if we’re going broke and losing our farms.”
American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall (Photo courtesy of AFBF)
1. Finish up a North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Mexico and Canada.
2. Reconsider entry into the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).
3. Conduct bilateral trade negotiations with Japan.
4. Conduct bilateral trade negotiations with the European Union (EU).
5. Negotiate an end to the tariff war with China.