Aug 26, 2013 9:34 AM by KATC
Trespassing along railroad rights-of-way is the leading cause of rail-related fatalities in America. Nationally, approximately 500 trespassing deaths occur each year, the vast majority of which are preventable. By definition, trespassers are illegally on private railroad property without permission. They are most often pedestrians who walk across or along railroad tracks as a shortcut to another destination. Some trespassers are loitering; engaged in recreational activities such as jogging, hunting, bicycling, snowmobiling; or operating off-road, all-terrain vehicles.
Overall, the railroad-operating environment is a hazardous one for which railroad employees has the benefit of extensive safety training. Trespassers do not have the benefit of this knowledge, nor are they aware of current and impending train movements. In addition to risking their lives, trespassers may sustain life-threatening injuries by failing. An initial conviction brings a fine of not more than five hundred dollars, imprisonment of not more than ninety days or both. A second and any subsequent convictions are punishable by a fine not to exceed five hundred dollars or imprisonment for a term not to exceed six months.