Mon. Mar 27th, 2023

City of Santa Ana, Downtown Orange County


Safety Reasons to Obey New Signs and Traffic Signals at RR Xings

SANTA ANA, CA (February 14, 2012) – New safety enhancements were installed at all railroad crossings to increase commuter safety. The City also wants to educate commuters about railroad crossing safety with the following information:

Why were traffic signals added to some railroad crossings?

New traffic signals, raised-curbed medians, pedestrian gates and enhanced detection and controller equipment were installed throughout Orange County’s Metrolink Railroad Crossings to enhance safety & prevent vehicles from queuing onto Metrolink’s railroad tracks.

Where are drivers supposed to stop at railroad crossings with traffic signals?

Drivers are required to stop at the white, painted limit line, which is located before the railroad tracks and traffic signal lights (see graphic). “Stop Here on Red” signs were also added to help clarify this location.

How do these new traffic signals work at railroad crossings?

The traffic signal lights will change to yellow and then red when:

1. A train is coming toward the railroad crossing.
2. A nearby traffic signal begins to back-up toward the
railroad tracks. This is to minimize the chance of
vehicles inadvertently stopping on the tracks.
3. A train is approaching the railroad crossing but stops at
a nearby train station.

Do the traffic signal lights sometimes change to yellow and red even when the railroad lights and gates do not activate?

Yes, this can occur. If so, please follow the traffic signal and railroad lights and signs and follow them both even if they operate slightly differently. This is most likely to occur when a nearby traffic signal begins to back-up toward the railroad crossing.

Can you receive a ticket if the gates begin to rise and either the flashing red railroad lights or traffic signals are still red?

Yes. Drivers are prohibited from proceeding until the gates are fully raised and no red railroad or red traffic signal lights are visible.

Why do gates sometimes lower and then raise but no train crosses?

Unfortunately, this is not always avoidable, despite technical enhancements. This can occur in the vicinity of railroad stations. Although it can be frustrating at times, it is critical to obey the traffic signal and railroad lights for your own safety. It is possible that a second train may be coming the other direction.

Can I get a ticket if the Railroad Lights Stop Flashing But the Traffic Signal Red Light Is Still On?

Yes. After this information has been published, the City of Santa Ana’s Police Department will be increasing enforcement at these railroad crossings for your own safety!

** Remember to always make sure that you will have enough room to completely clear the railroad tracks before entering into this area. It is important not to follow too closely behind the vehicle in front of you. Sometimes, drivers ahead of you may stop, unexpectedly, near railroad tracks. This means you should always make sure you will have at least one vehicle length available in front of you and beyond the railroad tracks before you proceed into the railroad track area. These devices have been installed for your traffic safety.**


Sent by City of Santa Ana, 20 Civic Center Plaza, 8th Floor/ P.O. Box 1988, Santa Ana, CA 92702

By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

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