Brightline, Broward County Sheriff team up for ‘Operation Crossing Guard’

June 15, 2022
The effort will take place between June 6-17 and is designed to address the number of motorist and pedestrian fatalities at grade crossings.

Brightline is joining forces with the Broward County Sheriff’s Office on a crossing safety initiative dubbed Operation Crossing Guard that kicked off with a press conference on June 3 and will run June 6-17. The initiative is described as a traffic enforcement action at crossings throughout Broward County along the Florida East Coast Railway/Brightline corridor.

Since Brightline began operation in 2018, the corridor between Miami-Dade and Brevard counties has seen approximately 60 deaths of motorists and pedestrians. Brightline explains the goal of Operation Crossing Guard with the Broward County Sheriff’s Office is to “address railway fatalities involving motorists and pedestrians through enforcement in hopes of reducing the number of crashes, enforcing traffic laws and continuing efforts to educate the public about the dangers of trying to beat the train.”

The operation will amplify rail safety education to motorists and pedestrians. During the operation, Broward County Sheriff deputies, police officers and troopers will patrol near railroad crossings and cite drivers who drive around lowered safety arms, stop on railroad tracks or commit other moving violations. Drivers cited could receive fines ranging from $115 to $205.

In a social media update on the initiative, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office reported issuing more than 200 citations in the first four days of the operation; these included 86 for stopping on railroad tracks, 52 for driving through or around closed crossing gate arms, 40 for entering a grade crossing without sufficient space to clear, 27 for blocking an intersection or crosswalk and eight for walking around closed crossing gate arms.

Broward County Sheriff’s Office was a recent recipient of a $120,000 Federal Railroad Administration Railroad Trespassing Enforcement Grant that it will use to address traffic enforcement, pedestrian trespassing and a special focus on homeless outreach with an overarching goal of ending train-related casualties.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Editor in Chief

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the magazine’s editorial direction and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.