UTA urges pedestrian safety after FrontRunner fatality in Orem

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SALT LAKE CITY — Two Utah train fatalities in the last week and Utah Transit Authority officials are saying, as the spring weather continues to improve, more and more people will take to the streets and that could mean trouble if they don’t pay attention.

UTA spokesman Carl Arky tells FOX 13 that train conductors tend to see more close calls and some fatalities during the spring and summer months.

“At any given moment somebody might be looking at their phone or, if they’re talking to somebody, or they’re just distracted, and they will step out onto the alignment and a lot of times somebody might pull them back,” Arky said.

When there is a fatality, it not only is traumatic for the victim’s family but also for the train conductors who are driving those trains.

“That’s something that keeps those guys up at night,” Arky said, “We’ll offer counseling right away and some of them avail themselves to that and some of them don’t.”

There are several signs, lights, alarms and even specially-made gates for people at railroad crossings to keep pedestrians and drivers alert when a train is passing.

“In any area around tracks, if you’re not paying attention you may be putting your life in danger. That’s not an overstatement.” Arky said.

Arky and UTA urge people to remember, as they are walking near or across a railroad crossing, to take your earbuds out of your ears, put your phone away and look both ways before you walk across the tracks.

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