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Florida Drivers Handbook - Chapter 4 - Railroad Crossing Signs and Signals

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The Florida drivers handbook is your guide to getting a Florida drivers license. Inside the drivers manual you will find driving laws, explanations of how to get your drivers license, and details of the different types of drivers licenses Florida offers.

Chapter 4 - Signs, Signals, and Pavement Markings

Chapter 4 of the Florida Drivers Handbook includes photos of Florida road signs, traffic signals, and pavement markings and explains each of them.

Topics Addressed in Chapter 4 of the Florida Driver Handbook include:

Traffic Signals Drawbridge Signs and Signals
Traffic Signs Specials Signs
Traffic Warning Signs Pavement Markings
Traffic Rectangle Signs Railroad Crossing Signs and Signals

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Florida Drivers Handbook - Railroad Crossing Signs and Signals

Ch. 4 Railroad Crossing Signs and Signals

There are several signs, signals and pavement markings that indicate highway-railroad crossings. When you see one of them, slow down and be ready to stop.


Trains cannot stop quickly. An average freight train traveling at 30 MPH needs a stopping distance of more than half a mile. Longer trains moving at faster speeds can take one and a half miles or more to stop.

Any pedestrian or person driving a vehicle and approaching a railroad-highway grade crossing must stop 50 feet, but not less than 15 feet, from the nearest rail of the railroad when: the electrical or mechanical warning devices are flashing, the crossing gate is lowered, a human flagger is warning of an approaching train, or an approaching train is clearly visible and is in close proximity to the railroad-highway grade crossing. Do not proceed until you can do so safely.

Pavement markings, consisting of an RXR followed by a stop line closer to the tracks, may be painted on the paved approach to a crossing.

railroad pavement sign

The advance warning sign is usually the first sign you see when approaching a highway-rail intersection. The advance warning sign advises you to slow down, look and listen for a train, and be prepared to stop if a train is approaching.

advance railroad crossing

Crossbuck signs are found at highway-rail intersections. They are yield signs. You are legally required to yield the right of way to trains. Slow down, look and listen for a train, and stop if a train approaches. Railroad crossbuck signs are found at most crossings. If there is more than one track, the sign below the crossbuck will show the number of tracks at the crossing.

railroad crossbuck sign

At many highway-rail crossings, the crossbuck sign has flashing red lights and bells. When the lights begin to flash, stop! A train is approaching. DO NOT STOP ON THE TRACKS OR WITHIN 15 FEET OF THE CROSSING. If there is more than one track, make sure all tracks are clear before crossing. Do not move forward until you can do so safely. In heavy traffic make sure there is room for your vehicle on the other side before starting to cross.

railroad red light sign

Many crossings have gates with flashing red lights and bells. Stop when the lights begin to flash and before the gate lowers across your road lane. If the gates are down, the road is closed. It is against the law to drive around or under a crossing gate, either down or being opened or closed. Do not move forward until the gates are raised and the lights stop flashing as there may be a train approaching on an adjacent track.

railroad gates

Always approach highway-railroad crossings at a reasonable speed and be prepared to stop if you have to. Be especially alert when you are following buses or trucks, which may have to stop at highway-railroad crossings even when gates are up and the warning lights are not flashing. If your car stalls on the tracks donít hesitate. Get yourself and your passengers out and away from the car immediately. If a collision is imminent, the safest direction is toward the train but stay off the tracks. That way you will be least likely to be hit by your vehicle or any debris from the collision.

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