Poteau Police Ticketed Drivers Who Ignored Railroad Warning Devices

Thursday, June 1st 2017, 10:00 am
By: News On 6

The Poteau Police Department with help from Kansas City Southern Railroad police spent Wednesday citing drivers who ignored warning devices at railroad crossings.

"It's not about giving citations. It's about educating folks. Whatever the officer feels is necessary to make them feel like that person got the point to where they are going to drive safely from that point on. That's what that officer will do," Poteau Assistant Chief Greg Russell said.

Since August 2016, four people have been killed by trains in Poteau.

8/7/2016 Related Story: Woman, Three Boys Killed In Poteau Crash With Train

3/14/2017 Related Story: Man Killed Walking Beside Poteau Railroad Tracks

KFSM, the CBS affiliate in Fort Smith, says the two police departments have conducted the effort five times since 2012.

Police say three crossings in Poteau, had officers stationed nearby and the assistant police chief was on a Kansas City Southern locomotive as it traveled through town several times Wednesday.

"Not yielding to the warning devices, trying to beat the cross arms coming down, not yielding at crossing lights, stopping too close, stopping too far away. We also have problems with trespassing violations where people can be walking across railroad tracks," Greg Russell said.

He says officers issued six citations on Wednesday.