Bugle Miami

Broward Sheriff’s Office partners with Brightline for new operation aimed at lowering track incidents

MIAMI – The Broward County Sheriff’s Office is partnering with Brightline in a new operation aimed at lowering the number of vehicle and pedestrian incidents on the tracks. 

It’s called Operation Crossing Guard and it’s effective immediately.

Broward County deputies and troopers will now be patrolling railroad crossings looking for pedestrians and drivers trying to beat the train, walk across the tracks or go around the lowered safety arms.

“The odds of beating trains are not in your favor and the results are tragic,” said Broward County Sheriff’s Office Colonel, Steve Robson.

It is a message backed by data. 

Between 2021 and 2022, we’ve covered at least 20 Brightline crashes involving pedestrians and drivers. 

More than a dozen of them were fatal.

“This is a first of its kind operation where we are specifically targeting railroad crossings and because of the tragedy that’s going on there with fatalities going on, it just seems to be an ongoing issue so we’re starting the initiative at zero tolerance,” said Robson.

Now, a new initiative aimed at curbing tragedy on the tracks.

“These types of operations have proven to deter the type of activity and the type of actions we’ve seen by motorists and pedestrians that we’ve seen not just in Broward County but in South Florida,” said Ben Porritt, Brightline Senior Vice President.

Starting today, BSO deputies will be stationed at railroad crossings across the county, looking for people making dangerous decisions.

“Drivers caught ignoring railroad crossing safety measures including stopping on railroad tracks will be ticketed. Pedestrians and bicyclist caught crossing lowered crossing gates will also be ticketed,” said Robson.

These types of violations could cost you hundreds in fines. 

The Senior Vice President of Brightline, said they are optimistic they will see a reduction in track fatalities through this effort.

“This operation really just offers clarification to the community that there are penalties for doing these illegal and dangerous activities,” explained Porritt.

Operation Crossing Guard is only in Broward County for now. 

BSO says the initiative will continue until they see improvements.