Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

planning - safety/accidents, planning - safety/accidents, planning - education, ridership - commuting, mode - rail


Teamwork, Safety measures, Safety, Responsibility, Railroad grade crossings, Public safety, Personality, Level crossings, Highway railroad grade crossings, Highway rail intersections, Grade crossings, Education, Design, Decision making, Cooperation, Construction, Collaboration, Accidents


On October 25, 1995, seven high school students were killed in an accident when their Fox River Grove, Illinois, school bus was struck by a commuter train while stopped at a signalized highway-rail crossing. The circumstances that led to this tragic accident were investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). Also, a Blue Ribbon Working Group worked with a task force of the United States Department of Transportation to review the decision-making process for designing, constructing, and operating rail crossings. The principal finding of their report, "Accidents That Shouldn't Happen," was that better cooperation, communication, and education are necessary among responsible parties if accidents and fatalities are to be reduced at highway-rail grade crossings. An NTSB letter explaining the circumstances of the Fox River Grove bus accident is included.