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Sanford Residents Ask FDOT to Increase Safety Around SunRail Tracks

Residents in Sanford are urging officials to quickly agree to erect a fence in order to prevent people from wandering too close to the SunRail tracks.  This latest push by Sanford residents comes after the death of the 13-year-old Marcees Kilpatrick (the accident between the SunRail and this young man was covered on our blog).  In that accident, the police were called after a SunRail driver reported colliding with a child between 12 and 13 years old.  The area around the tracks was closed for some time, and the SunRail trains themselves ceased running through the area until the authorities had investigated fully.

Now, a memorial lies in the place where Kilpatrick was killed, and people hope that this will serve as a reminder to anyone else attempting to walk near the SunRail tracks as well as encouragement for the Florida Department of Transportation when it comes time to decide how to best ensure safety in the surrounding area. One of the primary suggestions being considered is a new fence surrounding the track area to prevent individuals (especially children) from accidentally walking too close to the trains.

While many residents view the erection of such fences as highly desirable, there are others who don’t believe that fences will stop people from cutting across the tracks. It is a tricky balance between regulation and understanding that people will, ultimately, make their own decisions. A fence, while it may hinder some people from walking through the area, may also encourage climbing. It is often the most restricted areas that prove to be the most attractive, and some of the people of Sanford believe that the only true remedy is for parents to talk with their children about the dangers of walking near the tracks.

That being said, any sort of barrier between the tracks and the surrounding area might at least help to deter foot traffic from approaching the dangerous rails. This year, numerous people and vehicles have been struck by Florida trains (in one instance, a police cruiser was destroyed by a passing CSX train in Orlando). It is imperative for the safety of Florida citizens for the Florida Department of Transportation to look into ways to ensure that the areas around all train tracks receive the proper security and signage for people passing nearby.

James O. Cunningham

Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.

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