Young adults in Florida should be among the healthiest individuals in the state, yet they often suffer personal injuries. These can be in the form of traffic accidents, bicycle incidents and pedestrian-related encounters. In fact, Florida has a reputation of being especially dangerous to bicyclers, in spite of efforts to make the streets safe for two-wheeled traffic.
One area of personal injury and fatalities involves that of pedestrians and vehicle traffic at train crossings. In fact, an article in The Miami Herald identifies Florida as having the sixth-highest number of railroad crossing incidents in the nation. Between 2014 and 2018, 462 incidents happened at railroad crossings. Not all resulted in injury or deaths, but 16% of these encounters involved deaths and 25% resulted in an injury. The causes of these incidents included everything from suicides to pedestrians not heeding safety warnings. Jacksonville, the location of the most dangerous station, saw 44 incidents at railroad crossings in this time period.
Due to the increase in incidents at railroad crossings in Florida, authorities are taking a closer look at the issue. A recent article in Florida Today covered a town hall meeting addressing rail safety concerns. The rail line under discussion was by Virgin Trains and its plans to transport people between Orlando International Airport and South Florida beginning in 2022. Emphasis from politicians at the meeting included looking into the quality of crossings and the level of equipment infrastructure. Proposed legislation would give the Florida Department of Transportation the authority to make sure vulnerable areas are fenced off, crossings are gated and that emergency personnel are well-trained in rescue operations.