Brightline aiming to take additional safety measures in hopes of eliminating fatal collisions

Brightline aiming to take action to try and prevent deadly crashes vehicles and its trains.

MIAMI – Over the past week there have been two fatal crashes involving Brightline trains in South Florida.

Throughout the week Local 10 News has requested more information on what is being done to try and stop these tragedies from happening.

Local 10 News’ Roy Ramos spoke with Ben Porritt, the high-speed railway’s Senior Vice President, about why they continue to occur.

“If you go around the crossing gates, if you trespass along the corridor, you are putting yourself in danger,” he said.

While investigators said that is what happens in most cases Porritt was asked if more can be done to stop the frequency of the wrecks.

“There are a number of things,” he said. “First, head the safety warnings.”

Brightline referenced a fact sheet that included a $45 million trespassing and intrusion mitigation project which the company is requesting a federal grant that will pay for roughly half of it.

The project, which is between the Florida Department of Transportation, Brightline and Florida East Coast Railway, aims to prevent accidents and deaths by implementing new safety measures.

“We do think that a lot of those enhancements are going to improve the safety along the corridor,” said Porritt.

Some of the safety features that would be constructed at 328 railway crossings will include raised pavement markings at crossings, railing, landscaping, and more signage.

With at least 64 people who have died in collisions with Brightline trains since 2018, will it be enough to stop drivers from going around downed crossing arms?

“Driving around the gates is circumventing the very safety equipment that is designed to protect you,” Porritt said.

It is anticipated with the enhancements in place, over the next 20 years, 146 accidents can be avoided, including 95 potential fatalities.

About the Author:

Roy Ramos joined the Local 10 News team in 2018. Roy is a South Florida native who grew up in Florida City. He attended Christopher Columbus High School, Homestead Senior High School and graduated from St. Thomas University.