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North Carolina DOT to conduct grade crossing safety 'blitzes'

Because 11 people have died at grade crossings or along tracks in North Carolina during 2013's first few months, the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) is taking measures to prevent train-related accidents and fatalities in the state for the remainder of the year.

The department plans to hold "crossing safety blitzes" in various locations to heighten motorists' awareness about staying off tracks.

NCDOT recently partnered with local law enforcement, first responders and other officials in Fayetteville to conduct the first of several planned blitzes. During the blitz, department workers handed out thousands of fliers to motorists to provide safety tips.

NCDOT plans to conduct other blitzes in May, June and July in Charlotte, Greensboro and Dunn, which are home to some crossings with the highest number of train-car collisions in the state, department officials said in a press release.

The 11 crossing and trespassing deaths is an unusually high number for this time of year, they said.

"Just one fatality is too many. Hopefully, the safety message will not only reach the driver in the front seat, but their passengers, too," said NCDOT Rail Division Director Paul Worley.

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