Police crack down on drivers who stop on train tracks

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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - After two crashes involving SunRail trains, local law enforcement agencies are stepping up their efforts to keep the tracks clear and drivers safe.

WFTV's cameras caught several drivers stopping on the train tracks in Maitland and Altamonte Springs on Tuesday.

The law couldn't be more clear: no stopping on the tracks. But not every driver or pedestrian is obeying the law, especially when it comes to SunRail crossings.

"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 with Altamonte Springs police.

Channel 9 was with Altamonte Springs officers as they caught driver after driver breaking the law and putting their lives in danger.

"If you don't think you can make the vehicle fit on the other side of the tracks, stop and give yourself room," Pelton said.

Congested intersections during the morning and evening rush most often lead to the $160 ticket for stopping on the tracks. And police said drivers who attempt to drive around the crossing arms can expect a $500 citation.

The law has always been enforced, but is being broken more often now with SunRail service. There are 60 railroad crossings that SunRail trains pass through in central Florida.

Police said with added enforcement and education they hope to prevent accidents and injury.