Too many Americans die each year while trespassing on railroad tracks or disregarding signals at grade crossings. Train crews are mandated by federal law to sound the horn when approaching all public road crossings for the safety of motorists and pedestrians. Horns are required regardless of whether gates or lights are present at road crossings. Locomotive engineers may also sound the horn if a warning is needed for a vehicle, pedestrian or animal that is either on or near the track, or if a road crossing’s gates or lights are malfunctioning. Go to the Operation Lifesaver website at for lifesaving rail safety education.