SEFFNER, Fla. - It's still not clear why a semi-truck driver drove through the safety arm at a railroad crossing in Dover Tuesday. Another driver recorded a video of the truck narrowly being missed by a speeding train.
But the incident is shedding light on more close calls happening in the Bay Area. Three crashes happened in the area in 2018 – among the highest number in the state.
Inside those trains, tons of solid metal race down the tracks, which takes quite a while to stop. Drivers know they should not test fate, but statistics show they do it anyway.
At a railroad crossing near Martin Luther King and Kings Way in Seffner, neighbors say conditions can be dangerous.
“When it’s stormy outside, it’s hard to see the red flashing [lights]. They try to hurry up and go across. It is just very dangerous,” said Melissa Busko.
Melissa Busko made a prediction for FOX 13.
“If you’re out here another 30 minutes, you’re gonna see something happen.”
It only took a few. A driver stopped on the tracks as the safety arm dropped, and then scooted off just seconds before a train barreled through.
Walking her kids to and from school, Christeanna Goulbourne deals with the train crossing and the reckless drivers at Kings Way every day.
“So many times, I see that they are so close to hitting the train. I don’t know if they are not paying attention or not,” Goulbourne said.
The federal government ranks all the railroad crossings in the county for safety, based on the number of crashes in the previous five years and the number of cars that pass through daily.
But numbers aside, the bottom line is that drivers have to be extra cautious every time they cross train tracks.
To search for statistics about a specific railroad crossing, visit https://safetydata.fra.dot.gov/webaps/default.aspx.
A report of all railroad crossings in the Bay Area is below or may be downloaded here.