Pedestrian Accidents and Norfolk’s Tide – Five Light-Rail Safety Tips

The Tide has been running in Norfolk for more than five years without a pedestrian suffering an injury. That changed last November when a man was hit by a train outside the Civic Plaza Station on Union Street.

In a recent report, the Virginian-Pilot noted Hampton Roads Transit officials cleared the train operator of any wrongdoing.

However, the report notes a potential issue in which a second train created a temporary blind spot to pedestrians.

Judging by the report, the pedestrian appears to have been lucky to escape the incident with non-life-threatening injuries.

The Tide

The Tide light rail (

The Pilot reported HRT released footage of the incident last month. The incident occurred on Nov. 18. The footage was taken from the side camera of the train. A westbound train turned the corner. The report stated the passing train created a blind spot.

After the trains crossed paths, three pedestrians were seen crossing the tracks. Two of them saw the oncoming train and jumped back. However, the other man appeared oblivious. He was seen disappearing under the train on the camera.

The train stopped. The pedestrian was left partially under the train. Jim Price. HRT’s director of operations said the man was taken to a local hospital for cuts, bruises, and contusions after the wreck. Although he was still conscious, he seemed to be unable to walk.

Price said the train operator suffered emotional trauma after the accident.

The report noted no previous accidents involving pedestrians occurred in the five-year history of The Tide in Norfolk.

HRT reiterated the importance of vigilance around its trains that share the streets of Norfolk with car drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists.

Here are some Tide Safety Tips

  1. Only cross the tracks at designated crosswalks. Do so quickly. Don’t linger on the tracks
  2. Always look both ways before crossing. Never cross or try to get across before an approaching train or between two trains that are not moving. If a departing train is blocking your view, be sure it is out of sight before you try to cross.
  3. If you are driving, use caution when sharing the road with trains. Be attentive to changing traffic patterns and follow the roadway.
  4. Don’t use headphones or be distracted by other devices when you are around trains.
  5. Always listen for warning bells, sirens of the approach of a train.

If you are injured by a train, ta train operator or another road user could be to blame. Please call us for a free consultation at (757) 455-0077.

John Cooper

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