Wow – check out the video above. Do you see how many drivers are flagrantly disobeying the railroad crossing signals in downtown Cedar Rapids?

I took this video this morning, from the front of a Union Pacific Passenger train – I was on a ride along with state troopers. You'll notice in the video that vehicle after vehicle blow right through the flashing railroad crossing. Later, many of them received tickets after they were radioed in by a state trooper. The total cost of that ticket is $330.

Of course, the law is that no matter what, when a railroad crossing signal is flashing, you must stop for the train. (Once you stop for the train, you can cautiously proceed if there's no danger. But the drivers here don't even stop.)

A fully loaded coal train in an open area typically travels around 70 mph and can take one mile to stop. Yes, a full mile.

The engineer this morning, Charlie Warren, told me about the time his train crashed into a car, three and a half years ago near Nevada, Iowa. This is actual video from that crash:

Thankfully, everyone had gotten out safely after the car got hung up between tracks. However, for Charlie... he was afraid he'd killed people. He had no idea how many. It was only moments later he learned the vehicle was unoccupied, but imagine how long those minutes were.