When a Union Pacific locomotive rolls up the tracks in Austin, there may or may not be a uniformed Austin Police officer on board watching for people walking along the tracks who are not supposed to be there. Police are cracking down on people using the tracks for purposes other than to carry trains. Like a shortcut home from school. With it being back to school time, police hope to keep students off tracks.
"Not too long ago we had that young man at Crockett (High School) with an ipod in his pocket who was killed by a train," Police Chief Art Acevedo said Tuesday.
Police invited Austin's local reporters to ride along (view it here and here) as their officers on the locomotives, alongside the train's engineer, communicating where people were so officers in patrol cars near crossings could issue citations. 21 of which were issued Tuesday morning.
"I've been interacting with engineers who have been involved a fatal crash through no fault of their own. It impact them and their families when they are involved in a fatality and people need to think about that as well," Acevedo said.
Police are also cracking down very hard on school zones right now.
News Radio KLBJ's Jarrod Allen reports in depth