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Utah drivers hit 329 rail-crossing gates last year

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Utah Transit Authority says about one motorist a day drives into the gate arms at railroad crossings.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/2qM9Ok7 ) Sunday that drivers crashed into 329 crossing gates last year.

Chief Safety Officer Dave Goeres says it costs the authority about $1,000 to replace or repair each crashed gate.

Goeres says the majority of gate crashes are caused by Utah motorists ignoring a state law that bans going through a train crossing until the lights stop flashing.

Goeres says another issue is crossing arms that start upward sometimes come back down quickly if a second train approaches from another direction.

The transit authority also sees motorists drive into lowered gates because they aren’t paying attention despite the flashing lights and loud bells and alarms.

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