A handful of commuters and pedestrians have been taking dangerous risks by running out in front of speeding commuter trains, and now TriMet is hoping to make it stop.
Every weekday during rush hour, the WES commuter trains transport hundreds of passengers along 14 miles of track between Beaverton and Wilsonville.
In the last few years, video cameras mounted on the trains' windshields have captured some terrifying close calls.
TriMet has released five close call videos as part of a new summer safety campaign that started Wednesday.
The videos show pedestrians and bicyclists trespassing and crossing tracks in front of oncoming trains.
"It's impressive what people will do to beat the train," said Tad Johnson, a conductor along the WES train route.
He said the trains weigh more than 80 tons and travel at up to 60 mph. Even at slower speeds he said they cannot be stopped quickly.
TriMet Transit Police Division officers will be patrolling problem areas on the WES line in the coming weeks.
Officers will be targeting locations in Tualatin where kids have been seen gathering in wooded areas near the tracks. They will also focus on Beaverton, where riders have illegally crossed the tracks instead of using a nearby crosswalk and at the Tualatin station.
• Don't trespass on private property, including railroad tracks.
• Do not walk, bike or play on the tracks or on railroad bridges.
• Don't cross the tracks at unregulated crossings or in front of an approaching train.
• Don't speed through intersections as crossing gates are coming down.
• Always obey railroad signage and warning devices.
Citations and fines
It is illegal to trespass on railroad tracks. Criminal trespassing can be a Class A misdemeanor with a fine up to $6,250 and up to a year in prison.
Traffic-related offenses around railroad tracks include:
• Unlawful interference with a traffic control device or railroad sign - $427 fine
• Failure to stop for a railroad signal - $242 fine
• Obstructing a rail crossing - $242 fine
• Pedestrian failure to obey a bridge or railroad signal - $97 fine
Copyright 2012 KPTV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
After their first home game and win, the Hillsboro Hops minor league baseball team returned to practice Tuesday at the ballpark built just for them - and they weren't the only ones.More >