BOISE, Idaho — Drivers are encouraged to use caution and remain alert as changes are made to signs at railroad crossings in Idaho.
Traditional red stop signs are being replaced with yield signs at certain crossings to be consistent with the signage at railroad crossings in the rest of the United States.
When approaching a crossing that has the yield sign, drivers should slow down, look both ways, look for train lights at night and listen intently for sounds of an approaching train. Drivers should only proceed across the tracks when it is safe to do so.
"One of the Idaho Transportation Department's main goals is driver safety," said Kevin Sablan, a traffic engineer with the department. "We want to make sure drivers are aware of this change taking place at railroad crossings. They should exercise caution, obey the speed limit and be prepared to stop if a train is approaching."
The stop signs are being replaced at crossings that are defined as passive. These crossings do not have safety features such as flashing red lights or a crossing gate that blocks the approach to railroad tracks.
Stop signs could remain at the passive crossings if the local road agency does an engineering study, and the results of that study support a stop sign instead of a yield sign.
The switch from stop signs to yield signs is being done by the railroad company that owns the rail line. Railroad companies are working to complete the sign change at crossings by December 31, 2019.
Idaho has over 1,450 railroad crossings in urban and rural areas. Out of those, 865 will be impacted by the sign change.
For more information on safety at railroad crossings, click here.