CLEVELAND — Since 1975, there have been 115 incidents involving trains and vehicles at railroad crossings in Northeast Ohio.
Norfolk Southern Railroad wants to change that, so they’re hitching a ride with traffic app WAZE to promote driver safety.
The railroad company has over 19,000 miles of railroad track across the country. On an average day, Norfolk Southern runs between 50 to 60 trains through the area.
The company began utilizing WAZE last year to deliver safety messages when drivers are stopped at railroad crossings.
Norfolk Southern mapped out their most problematic areas and utilized geofencing technology to determine if a WAZE user stops near a crossing.
The driver will then receive a message saying “tracks nearby. Be smart, be safe," or “your safety starts with you, cross carefully.”
It was implemented in six cities across the country, including Toledo, Ohio.
This year, you can expect to see more messages from Norfolk Southern’s partnership with WAZE and they have added a crossing Northeast Ohio.
The railroad crossing with Columbia Road in Olmsted Falls has been marked as a high-risk area.
"These are two very simple safety messages, but it’s the power of putting them in the driver’s hands when they’re in their vehicle nearby some of our crossings in areas where we’ve had issues in the past.” Norfolk Southern’s director of Public Safety Will Miller said.
During the trial run, Norfolk Southern saw just two incidents at those six crossing locations. The company says that’s a significant reduction from previous years.