Exercise Extreme Caution, Pedestrians Advised

MANILA, Philippines - The government has appealed anew to motorists and pedestrians to exercise extreme caution when crossing railroad tracks and the heed warnings of crossing guards and barangay authorities.

This after a tricycle driver instantly died the other day following a collision with a southbound Philippine National Railways (PNR) train along a railroad crossing in Bigaa, Cabuyao in Laguna.

PNR general manager Junio Ragrario said that the tricycle driver, identified as Darwin Ricamura, tried to beat the train at the said railroad crossing despite vigorous warnings from barangay tanods and onlookers. The driver died on the spot while his two passengers were injured and rushed to a nearby hospital in Bigaa.

"While these kinds of accident are uncommon, we believe that they happen due to some motorists, including pedestrians, who continue to belittle the severity of the danger that these seemingly slow trains could bring," Ragragio said.

The rail official claimed that all necessary safety precautions, including constant warnings and assistance of barangays, to avoid untoward incidents to motorists, are provided for the guidance of pedestrians and the communities along the railways.

"I believe that all, including municipal and city officials, must do their share in warning motorists and pedestrians when crossing railway tracks. Let every citizen also help to police their vicinity of people who openly drink intoxicating beverages, and to prevent street children playing along the railways," Ragragio appealed.

The death of the tricycle driver was "uncommon" for the PNR as past accidents involving the government-owned and-operated mass transit system only account for sideswiping motor vehicles, with passengers only injured and the train coaches or motor vehicle incurring damages.

PNR operations manager Estelito Nierva appealed to motorists to moderate the use of their mobile sound systems and devices so that they will hear the horns of incoming trains. "How can they hear the trains that are coming if their sound system is very loud and their windows are closed? How much more if they still use their earphones?" he asked.