National Geographic : 1929 Oct
7JHE warning signs, "Stop, Look and Listen," have become merely a part of the roadside landscape to many an auto mobile driver. Heedlessly he passes ten, twenty - perhaps fifty of them-safely. At the fifty first comes the crash. Last year 8,383 persons were killed outright or injured in automobile accidents at grade crossings in the United States. There are about 235,000 grade crossings in the country; more than 93% of them are un protected. With millions of new automobiles on the roads each year, accidents at grade cross ings are increasing at an alarming rate, for the reason that most of the States have no organized program for protecting motor traffic which must cross railroad tracks. New York, under wise leadership, has shown how to solve the problem. Before the Empire State adopted her present plan, but 10 crossings a year, on an aver age, were done away with. This year, the first in which the railroads, the State I1i and communities have co-operated-the railroads paying 50% of the cost, the i State 49% and communities 1%-85 " death traps are marked for immediate removal. Next year New York hopes . to eliminate 150 of its worst danger spots. METROPOLITAN LIFE FREDERICK H. ECKER, PRESIDENT J © 1929 M.L. I. CO. Other States are becoming aroused to this terrible and needless destruction of life and property and are taking steps to prevent it. Canada, too, is taking action. It will require many years to complete the work. It is estimated that it will ultimately cost twelve billions of dollars. But what railroads and States and communities ought to do rt*t is to begin at once with those grade S crossings which should be abolished first. Grade crossings are dangerous not only to automobilists and pedestrians, but to people who are traveling on trains. The first section of a limited train struck an S automobile and killed two persons. The train stopped and the second section plunged into it, killing thirty-two passen gers in the first section. Wherever the law provides facilities for j eliminating grade crossings, citizens should S see that public officials perform their duty S and abolish these death traps. Wherever the laws must be amended, people should ... meet the issue squarely and urge prompt i, action by legislative bodies. ' There is danger at every grade crossing. Get rid of them. Copy of New York's progressive program will be mailed free on request. Address, Department 109-N. INSURANCE COMPANY ONE MADISON AVE., NEW YORK, N. Y. "Mention the Geographic-It identifies you."