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Drivers who stop on SunRail tracks could face $160 ticket

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Drivers are being warned not to stop on the tracks at SunRail crossing or they could get a $160 ticket.

"We had a close call this morning from a driver that had stopped on the tracks.  So, drivers just need to obey the law," said Kim Montes of the Florida Highway Patrol.

That driver was stopped on the tracks with a train headed in his direction at the intersection of Horatio Avenue and Maitland Avenue.  Troopers pulled him over.

"One of the very first stops he [a trooper] made. Had he not moved the driver that was stopped on the tracks, because there was a SunRail train on the tracks," Montes said.

Last month, a car stalled on the tracks was hit by a train in Maitland. The initiative is to stop crashes like that one.

"You do hear a bunch of excuses. 'I didn't know traffic was going to stop short.  I didn't have anywhere to go.'  You always can stop," said Rob Pelton of the Altamonte Springs Police Department.

Altamonte Springs police told WFTV, if a driver doesn't think their vehicle will make it to the other side of the tracks, they shouldn't begin crossing. 

"Drivers that stop on the tracks, drivers that are going around arm bars that are going down or are already down, and drivers that fail to stop at those stop bars," said Montes. "It's not about tickets. It's not about making people upset, it's really about safety."

Authorities across central Florida said it's a law that has always been enforced, but it is being broken more often because of SunRail's added service.