The state Transportation Department is finishing out its Rail Safety Week in St. Louis by handing out safety tips and coupons for a free Cherry Limeade from Sonic Drive-Ins to drivers who are buckled up in their safety belts at various railroad crossings. Workers have been at various crossing across the state throughout the week. Spokesman Rick Mooney says the department’s promotion for rail safety will continue throughout the year though, in an effort to get across some basic messages on railway safety.

Mooney advises motorists to always slow down, look and listen when approaching railraod crossings.  He warns drivers to never try and beat a train.  Mooney says there were 62 crashes and 6 people died at crossings last year. He adds that nearly half of all the accidents occurred when motorists drove around safety gates or through flashing lights.

Trespassing is another problem Mooney points out.  He says that almost twice as many people died trespassing than at railroad crossings.  He urges people not to jog on railroad tracks, ride their motorcycles or four-wheelers along the tracks, or attempt to jump on board while a train is moving.  Mooney says all those acts are illegal and dangerous.

AUDIO: Laura McNamara reports (:60 MP3)