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Friday, June 14, 2024

Crackdown on illegal railroad crossings

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ARTESIA —The Artesia Police Department is informing the public that its officers are on the lookout for vehicles failing to obey red lights at preemptive railroad crossing signals.

Such signals — the “light before the light” that prompts drivers to stop prior to crossing the railroad tracks —prompt drivers to stop well before reaching the traffic signals at the actual intersection, which has become a source of irritation for many residents.

The APD said in a Facebook post that the preemptive signals were placed by the New Mexico Department of Transportation in accordance with the U.S. Department of Transportation Highway Rail Crossing Handbook. In a nutshell, preemptive signals are designed to prevent drivers in lines of traffic backed up from the actual intersection from stopping on the train tracks.

Artesians took to Facebook to voice their displeasure after the APD indicated that its officers would be on the lookout for drivers who choose to bypass the preemptive signals and move up to the intersection if no railroad crossing barriers are active to indicate the approach of a train.

Brienne Green
Daily Press Editor

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