DERIDDER, LA (KPLC) - Louisiana State Police Troop D and Kansas City Southern (KCS) jointly performed a railroad grade crossing enforcement detail Wednesday on U.S. 171 in DeRidder and additional enforcement details are planned.
During the exercise, troopers targeted drivers ignoring railroad crossing warning signals and trucks carrying hazardous materials that did not stop and check for a train.
As part of the exercise, an officer rode in a locomotive cab of the train while other officers were stationed along roads intersecting the railroad route.
The officer on the train was able to observe pedestrian and vehicle activity from the train's point of view, while officers on the ground checked for crossing and trespassing violations.
"Working with law enforcement to raise awareness about the importance of safety at highway rail grade crossings and the dangers of trespassing on railroad property is simply the best way to make a marked difference in this important public safety matter," said KCS public safety director Allen Pepper.
During the exercise today, 42 citations were issued by officers: 41 were for failure to obey a signal indicating the approach of a train, and one was for failure to wear a seatbelt.
Louisiana motorists are required by law to obey signals at railroad crossings indicating an approaching train, such as flashing red lights or lowered gates. Failure to comply could result in a fine of up to $200 or up to 30 days in jail for the first offense. Additional offenses will result in higher fines or more jail time. According to the LSP, the fine for racing a train is up to $1,000.