SHERIFFS STILL SAY HIGH-SPEED TRAINS COULD JEOPARDIZE LIVES

Publish Date: 
Tuesday, March 28, 2017 - 9:15am

Treasure Coast sheriffs are concerned about citizens' safety as All Aboard Florida's propels forward with their high-speed rail service according to a news release Sunday night. In March 2015, St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara, Martin County Sheriff William Snyder and Indian River County Sheriff Deryl Loar jointly signed a letter sent to the president of AAF, expressing their concerns regarding citizens' safety.

"If rail traffic significantly increases, passing trains can and will prevent emergency first responders from expeditiously reaching points of need. In an emergency response, a delay of seconds could mean the difference between life and death," the letter expressed.

March 17, the president of AAF, Michael Reininger, wrote back, saying the safety concerns were "not supported by any facts."

"All Aboard Florida has been working with first responders and emergency personal through the corridor this past year, and, once these enhancements are made, will train critical-service providers and others in grade-crossing safety and awareness.

"All 32 of All Aboard Florida's planned train crossings will clear a grade crossing in less than 60 seconds, or less than two minutes of total crossing-closure time an hour for the hours our service will operate.

"With an improved rail infrastructure, no first responder or emergency personnel will be delayed at a grade crossing any longer than they would be at a typical traffic light."

State legislators are proposing bills that could increase rail safety for high-speed. All Aboard Florida has yet to elaborate their plans on how they are going to protect the Floridian residents from trains that will be traveling up to 110 mph.

Original article written by Elliott Jones of TC Palm here.

Photo contributed from All Aboard Florida