Mon., August 5, 2013 10:00am (EDT)

High Costs Hamper Ga. Rail Safety Efforts
By Associated Press
Updated: 12 months ago

ATLANTA  —  
State and local officials say cost is one of the many issues preventing gate and bell systems from being installed at Georgia's roughly 5,000 public rail crossings. State officials say there are more than 3,300 rail crossings in Georgia that have no gates or bells to warn approaching drivers. (Photo Courtesy of Jim O’Connor via stock.xchng.)
State and local officials say cost is one of the many issues preventing gate and bell systems from being installed at Georgia's roughly 5,000 public rail crossings. State officials say there are more than 3,300 rail crossings in Georgia that have no gates or bells to warn approaching drivers. (Photo Courtesy of Jim O’Connor via stock.xchng.)
State and local officials say cost is one of the many issues preventing gate and bell systems from being installed at Georgia's roughly 5,000 public rail crossings.

Georgia recorded 47 highway-rail crossing deaths or injuries last year — which is up from 34 in 2011 and 40 in 2010. State officials say there are more than 3,300 rail crossings in Georgia that have no gates or bells to warn approaching drivers.

Georgia Department of Transportation utilities engineer Michael Bolden says the state gets about $8 million in federal funding annually for rail crossing safety.

Bolden says officials take into account vehicle traffic, prior incidents and other factors before deciding where to install the systems — which can cost between $250,000 and $300,000 each.