Brightline launches new technology to keep railways safe
North Miami Beach, Florida –In order to help keep drivers safe when crossing the tracks, Brightline is launching new technology as authorities step up patrols.
“If we see somebody walking along the railroad tracks, that is considered trespassing in the state of Florida. You will be arrested and prosecuted,” said Major Jason Ochoa, North Miami Beach police.
In the last month, at least three railway accidents have happened in South Florida. One accident, taking place in Pompano Beach on Nov. 9, the first-day Brightline resumed service following a 20-month pause, because of the pandemic.
As part of a pilot program, Brightline executives are studying traffic data and have already installed two red-light cameras at two railroad crossings.
In three weeks, 500 violations were caught on camera.
“That means that more than 500 have driven around the gates. They stopped on the tracks before they were moving forward,” said Robert Gatchell, Brightline Chief of Safety.
The company is sending warnings about the violations for now.
With about 180 crossings along their paths, Brightline trains travel 67 miles.
In order to keep pedestrians off the tracks, the company has spent millions of dollars updating signage and adding fencing.
New technology like drones and thermal cameras are also being added to spot any problems, like disabled vehicles near or on crossings.
“We are looking at a lot of different technologies to help us in the safety realm as the environment starts to grow. We want to be able to grow as well on the technology route,” said Gatchell.
Any information collected by the red light cameras is likely to be given to law enforcement.
The testing of these new technologies continues in the coming months, the new drones will be kept at station hubs.