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Pedestrian Rail Deaths Receive Little Attention

Posted: Dec 23, 2012 3:14 PM by Associated Press
Updated: Dec 23, 2012 3:15 PM

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ST. LOUIS (AP) - A newspaper investigation has found that pedestrian railroad accidents typically receive little attention, despite being the leading cause of death on the rails.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that since 1997 more than 7,200 pedestrians have been fatally struck by trains in the U.S. The railroads blame the problem on people trespassing.

One way to address is the problem is by restricting access to the tracks. But railroads dismiss restrictions like fencing, saying it's impractical and won't stop people. While experts acknowledge that fencing thousands of miles of tracks isn't workable, they say fencing problem areas can be effective.

Railroad officials say education is another tool. But documents show the railroad industry has been providing fewer employees to help.

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