New feature alerts drivers when approaching a railroad crossing, making drives safer for Waze users, globally.
WASHINGTON – Amtrak has partnered with Waze, the platform bringing together communities on and off the road, to announce a new feature that will provide alerts to users approaching a railroad crossing. This feature is unique to Waze and puts drivers’ safety first, helping them return to the roads by highlighting the potential risks associated with driving over railroad crossings.
“Being able to warn motorists that train tracks are ahead is a great contribution to public safety that will positively impact the rail industry nationwide,” said Amtrak Police Chief Sam Dotson. “We applaud Waze for helping drivers identify railroad tracks further encouraging them to follow state laws at grade crossings, especially where no active warning devices exist like gates, bells or flashing lights. Most importantly, we believe that these audible and visual alerts will start saving lives immediately.”
The decision to add railway crossing alerts to the Waze map follows recommendations from both the US senate and the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to app-based navigation platforms like Waze that doing so can help contribute to the efforts to reduce the number of drivers involved in railroad crossing fatalities. The US Federal Railroad Administration also championed this feature and provided valuable insights as Waze used their publicly available database of US railway crossings.
The new feature will automatically alert drivers using the latest version of Waze on Android or iOS that they are approaching a railroad crossing. A banner will appear on the Waze app highlighting the crossing and encouraging the driver to approach with caution.
“The Railroad Crossing feature is a result of a cross-industry, cross-sector collaboration, both internally within Waze and the community, working together to help fellow drivers map out all highway-railroad intersections,” said Dani Simons, Head of Public Sector Partnerships, Waze. “This feature exemplifies Waze’s commitment to building for its Driving app, being the first to implement features and emphasizes our focus on safety.”
This feature is available on Android and iOS. For more information visit Waze.com.
The Amtrak Police Department “txt-a-tip” program also allows customers and employees to contact the Amtrak Police Department’s National Communications Center via SMS text messaging. Customers can report emergency information or suspected criminal or suspicious activity by sending a text to APD11 from a smartphone or to 27311 from a standard cell phone. When a text is received, the sender will receive a message acknowledging the report, and will then be connected to a live Amtrak Police Communications Officer who will correspond directly via text message with the person to learn more about the situation and determine the appropriate action.