You can stop a train with your cell phone. If your car is stopped on the tracks or you notice the gates are broken or malfunctioning (e.g., the gates are “pumping” up and down, some gates at the intersection are up and others are down, or have been down for 10 or 15 minutes with no train coming), look for the blue and white signs with the railroad phone number. Call this number — they do not accept texting — for railroad personnel to radio the engineers of trains in the area to stop or to alert signal maintainers to repair the problem.

The next time you are at a crossing waiting for a train or waiting at a train station, look around for the blue and white signs. Sometimes they are mounted parallel to the track and sometimes crosswise—but they are always on the railroad crossing signal or a post nearby.