SPOKANE-- Railroad police are ticketing drivers in east Spokane who are illegally crossing train tracks. Emphasis Patrols are focused around Sprague and Freya.
One of the crossings at Freya and Sprague is where authorities watch for drivers who passed through when they were not supposed to.
Authorities say this emphasis is all about public safety. Some people call it a nuisance.
If a driver passes over tracks while the warning bells ring, they could face a $124 traffic ticket.
KREM 2’s Othello Richards watch as almost a dozen people crosses in less than one hour at the Freya and Sprague railroad crossing.
The Railroad Emphasis is being put on this week by Union Pacific, using the help of local law enforcement. Officials say last year alone, there were nearly 2000 railroad collisions across the nation; 265 of those crashes were fatal.
Trooper Christopher Hooper says he heard several excuses Thursday. “I didn't see the light, I didn’t hear the horn, and everybody can hear that horn. If you stand here long enough you will leave because of the horn.”
Several nearby businesses tell us that horn is driving away customers. Customers complain they can't get into the parking lot and that the light also backs up.
As part of the emphasis, a locomotive runs through several crossings about every 10 minutes.
Over the last three days Troopers have written more than 200 tickets for illegal crossing.