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71 train-vehicle crashes in Ohio last year

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio says there were 71 train-vehicle crashes last year, down from 112 in 2003.

The statistics are in the commission’s Ohio Grade Crossing Statistics Report for 2012, released last week.

The report says more than half of last year’s crashes were at crossings with active warning devices. It also says many of the crashes occurred because of drivers failing to stop, driving around the gates or stopping or stalling on tracks.

The commission says it ordered more than 500 federal, state and locally funded safety upgrades in 2012, including installation of lights and gates.

State officials say Ohio is the fifth leading state in terms of goods transported by rail, with thousands of trains operating on nearly 5,300 miles of track and 5,800 public crossings.

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