It's been a busy couple of weeks for the Killeen Police Department after two recent traffic details resulted in over 100 citations.

The first detail on Friday, October 30 saw Killeen PD traffic unit officers and BNSF Railroad Police (I didn't even know that was a thing) enforcing traffic laws near the intersection of State Highway 195 and nearby railroad tracks. Between 9:10 AM and Noon, 61 total violations were cited:

  • 51 Stopping, Standing, or Parking Prohibited in Certain Places
  • 2 Ran Red Light
  • 1 Disregard Railroad Signals
  • 2 Fail to Maintain Financial Responsibility (no insurance)
  • 1 Illegal Tint
  • 2 No Drivers License
  • 1 Fail to Display Drivers License
  • 1 Driving While License Invalid

Personally, I cringe when someone in front of me at a railroad crossing just stops in the middle of the tracks. Sure there may not be a train now, but you never know what might happen. When I was a kid out in Troy, I witnessed the aftermath of a train vs car collision at the tracks near my house. It was horrific, and I wouldn't wish that on anyone.

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Killeen PD is reminding everyone that under Texas law, drivers must stop no closer than 15 feet from the nearest rail if there's a clearly visible signal, a crossing gate lowered, a flagger warning of a train, or a rail engine approaching from 1,500 feet or less.

That all makes sense to me, but how many people have you seen drive around the crossing gates or fly over the tracks just before a train gets there? I've seen a few close calls myself.

The second detail went down more recently - Thursday, November 12. Police and crews from both Goode's and Leon's wrecker companies set up alongside Interstate 14 with full emergency lights activated from 9:00 AM to Noon.

I think you can see where I'm going with this.

49 total citations were issued, mostly to people failing to move over or slow down for police and workers on the side of the road.

Here's the breakdown:

42 Unlawful Passing Certain Vehicles

4 Fail to Maintain Financial Responsibility (no insurance)

3 Speeding

Remember back in May of 2017, when 39-year-old tow truck driver Scott Bowles was hit by a vehicle and killed while retrieving a vehicle from the side of I-14? He left behind a wife, two kids, and a community horrified and sickened by what happened to him.

Giving workers and emergency responders the space they need or slowing down when you can't get over isn't just the law, it's respect for their lives and their families.

We can do better than this, Central Texas.

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