Letter to the Editor for May 25, 2017

End quiet zones near railroad crossings to avoid tragedy

I have read about a tragic incident on a private railroad crossing in Camas, and this is no doubt a very sad incident.

I believe that this tragedy could have been prevented by not having a quiet zone waiver in the area.

Quiet zones are typically established in residential areas to prevent very loud train horns from waking residents up at night, and eliminate other inconveniences caused by loud train horns.

While this isn’t usually a concern in areas with active railroad crossings (those with lights & bells, crossing gates, or both), it can be a very dangerous and deadly combination if there are passive railroad crossings in that area.

As we’ve seen, motorists must use extreme caution around railroad crossings, especially passive railroad crossings.

I suggest reinstating the train horns for the passive railroad crossings for safety reasons. While it most certainly is an inconvenience, I personally would consider it a worthwhile sacrifice to have my sleep interrupted if it would save people’s lives. I might even sleep better after getting used to it, knowing that it could be saving someone’s life.

Samuel Klement, Washougal