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Railroad blues in EMC

EAST MONTGOMERY COUNTY- The Pct. 4 Constable’s Office hosted a successful Union Pacific Railroad CARE (Crossing Accident Reduction Enforcement) initiative on Thursday. Violators did not know what hit them, but it was not a train, which was the point of the effort according to Pct. 4 Constable Rowdy Hayden.

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Multiple area agencies participated, including the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, the Texas Department of Public Safety, and the Splendora, Patton Village, Woodbranch Village, and Splendora ISD Police Departments.

A train engine, containing officers and guests such as Commissioner Ed Rinehart and Porter Fire Chief Jody Binnion, went up and down the railroad track that stretches from the Harris County line, through East Montgomery County, to the Liberty County line. The train activated the crossing signals, and when a violation occurred, officers on the train radioed nearby patrol officers with a description of the offenders’ vehicle.

The patrol officers then stopped and cited the drivers, some of whom had additional violations. Hayden said officers wrote an estimated 75 to 100 citations to drivers who crossed when the arms were going down, went around the barricades, or stopped on the railroad tracks.

Multiple violators were arrested for additional offenses, such as one driver who was in a stolen vehicle.

Hayden expressed surprise at the outcome of the event.

“It’s a big eye opener, even to myself, the number of people that cross when the train’s coming,” he said.

Hayden said people need to remember that it is illegal to stop, stand or park on the railroad tracks.

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