Every couple of weeks or so, someone is killed by an NJ Transit train.

Jersey is the most densely populated state in the nation, and not surprisingly, many railroad tracks run right through populated areas.

Last year there were 20 train fatalities. So far in 2017, 12 people have lost their lives on railroad tracks in the Garden State.

Last week, a 90-year-old man was killed after he tried to drive around a railroad gate at a crossing in Hazlet. 

NJ Transit spokeswoman Nancy Snyder says the agency is doing everything possible to promote safety, but people need to pay attention.

She noted there are 330 rail crossings in New Jersey and “unfortunately, we see too many pedestrians fail to obey the rail grade crossing gates and other safety devices.”

“NJ Transit always urges motorist and pedestrians to obey all the rail grade crossing devices and signals and also to exercise caution when approaching any railroad crossing.”

She says many people seem to be in a hurry and many people simply ignore warning lights, gates and other signals.

“These safety devices are set to give ample time for pedestrians as well as vehicles to move from the area of the track,” said Snyder.

To promote safety, she said the Agency regularly participates in community events “where safety representatives distribute informative pamphlets to engage, to inform as well as educate our customers, as well as residents in the communities that we serve.”

She noted NJ Transit has developed a driver education safety program that’s incorporated in driver education courses. The program reminds student drivers to pay particular attention around trains, light rail lines and buses.

She noted some people have been killed listening to music or fooling around with other electronic devices as they walked or drove across railroad track.

“They need more situational awareness around them and to keep their heads up and put their phones down, because it is a matter of life or death,” she said.

You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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