Occasionally, drivers encounter a railroad arm malfunction. In many instances, a motorist will have been waiting quite sometime before they realize there is a problem. Depending on the mindset of the driver, the next step is often to circumvent the extended arm and go about one’s business. The incident becomes one more inconvenience in life and is soon forgotten.

While it may seem the logical and perhaps the only thing to do, here’s the crux of the matter. The longer the malfunction is allowed to exist the more dangerous it becomes. Car after car turns around or bypasses the extended arm. For those who choose to cross, although they may look both ways, they are probably not aware of their perception of an approaching train is not accurate and they put themselves in harm’s way. It may look as if there is plenty of time to maneuver around the malfunctioning railroad arm and make it across the tracks, but sadly this isn’t always the case.


A wise motorist will immediately report the malfunction to the railroad’s emergency phone number or call 911. You can also report a railroad arm malfunction to the police. By doing so, one or more lives may be saved. Without the help of people like you, railroad arm malfunctions can go unreported for long periods of time, creating an ever-increasing danger to motorists and others who need to cross the tracks.

When you report a malfunction, it is a good idea to provide as much information about the location as you can. You will need the name of the highway or road that crosses the tracks and, if available, the crossing number. Sometimes these are posted at railroad crossings. If there is a stalled vehicle on the tracks make sure you let the authorities know.

Railroad arm malfunctions can go from being an inconvenience to a tragedy. Do your part to keep our throughways safe and report any problems you notice at these crossings. The law offices of Frohlich, Gordon & Beason, P.A., specializing in personal injury law. If you or a loved one have suffered injury and feel you have a case, please contact us for a free initial consultation.

We have offices conveniently located in Port Charlotte, North Port, and Englewood to serve residents of the southwest Florida area. Call Frohlich, Gordon, & Beason, P.A., for attorneys who care.