Channel 9 has published a highly concerning statistics that the number of drivers bombarding on the crossing arms on the light rail has nearly tripled since the opening of the light rail extension. According to the Charlotte Area Transportation System Officials, they repaired the crossing arms more than 380 times over the first six months of 2018 alone.
Spotting a driver caught on camera while taking out a crossing arm, Yvette Clark, a driver said, “That’s horrible.” Clark resides near UNCC. Commenting on the reckless attitude of drivers, she said, “It’s very clear when you’re not supposed to cross, so I don’t understand where people’s heads are.”
In another instance, the crossing arm landed on his SUV when a driver driving on the Orr Road was stopped in the wrong place. He ended up breaking the arm while trying to pull away.
Driver Michael Wilson said, “Oh, wow. I think people need to pay attention.”
CATS was forced to repair the crossing arms 119 times in 2017.
CATS said this incident happens mainly since the drivers are still adjusting to the new rail crossings that opened in March on the Blue Line Extension.
In all the cases reviewed by Channel 9 recently, the incident could have been avoided if the drivers made it a point to stop behind the stop line.
Clark added, “It doesn’t make sense. I believe we have too much time texting and talking and we become too distracted and don’t pay attention to our surroundings.”
Every time CATS takes up to repair the crossing arm, it has to spend $615 in case of longer crossing arm and about $250 to set right the shorter ones. Hence the problem is only weighing down on the taxpayers. As per a statement made by CATS, the amount spent on repairs ran into thousands of dollars in 2018.