The Turlock Police Department, California State University, Stanislaus Police Department, and Union Pacific Railroad Police Department are partnering to increase enforcement and promote safety and education around railroad crossings in Turlock.
Following three deaths by train nearly inside of a month, the police departments want to educate the public to ensure safety with the UP CARES Operation (UP standing for Union Pacific).
“We want to get the message out to the community about safety around the tracks,” said Turlock Police Chief Rob Jackson.
On Wednesday, members of all three police departments increased enforcement around several railroad crossings to educate the public.
During the enforcement, officers were looking for drivers who were driving around or through the tracks, or those stopping after the white line, also known as gridlocking, according to Sgt. Neil Cervenka of the Turlock Police Department.
Officers were also looking for pedestrians who were trespassing on the tracks. Pedestrians are not allowed to walk on tracks, or within the area of the tracks that is considered private property. That private property extends well beyond the tracks occasionally, said Cervenka, and many have signs posted.
There was increased enforcement at the railroad crossings at Monte Vista Avenue, Tuolumne Road, Fulkerth Road, Marshall Street, and Olive Avenue.
According to Turlock Police spokesperson Officer Mayra Lewis, during Wednesday’s upped enforcement, 11 vehicle code violations and 12 vehicle code warnings were handed out by members of all three police departments. There were also three trespassing arrests or citations and 12 trespassing warnings.
The Turlock Police and Union Pacific Railroad Police Departments plan on having similar enforcement every other month.
UP CARES Operation comes following three deaths by train nearly inside one month.
On July 19, David Sanchez, 39, was hit and killed by a train after he reportedly tried to make it through the Fulkerth Road railroad crossing while riding a bicycle, according to the Turlock Police Department.
Then on the night of Aug. 16, Edison Moshol, 56, was killed by a train in a similar incident. Police reported that Moshol was riding a bicycle westbound on Marshall Street when he failed to stop for the oncoming northbound train.
Less than a week later, Russell Holgate, 58, reportedly committed suicide near the Tuolumne Road railroad crossing. Holgate allegedly sat on the tracks and was struck by the oncoming train around 4:36 a.m. on Aug. 23.