OCEANSIDE (CNS) - Enforcement against joggers, walkers and other trespassers along North County's rail corridors will be significantly increased beginning Monday, according to the North County Transit District officials.
The focus of the increased enforcement will be on the rail corridors from Oceanside to San Diego and between Oceanside and Escondido, according to NCTD.
Anyone crossing the track illegally or trespassing on the railroad right- of-way will face criminal penalties for their violation of the law by NCTD's transit enforcement officers, or the San Diego County Sheriff's transit enforcement services unit. The penalties for trespassing on the railroad right- of-way can result in fines up to $500 and 6 months in jail.
"There's an increasing problem we are seeing, and it needs to be stopped now," Jaime Becerra, NCTD chief of transit enforcement said. "Every day, people are blatantly risking their life as they illegally cross these tracks.
"What they don't realize is that they are also risking the lives of hundreds of other people, too," Becerra said.
Each time a train comes to an emergency stop due to trespassers on or near the track, there is a risk of injury to the passengers and train crews who didn't expect a sudden stop, according to Becerra.
"A train doesn't stop like a car, and it definitely can't swerve like a car," he said.
In addition to the risk of injury, emergency stops require an inspection of the rail after they occur. This legally mandated inspection delays passengers on that particular train, and can adversely affect the rest of the rail corridor. The inspection and delays can result in not just a cost of time, but an economic burden to passengers unable to get to work, and to taxpayers who pay for the inspection.
"With a trespasser on the rails, the best-case scenario is that hundreds of passengers are inconveniently delayed due to an emergency stop. But far too often the results are tragic," Sean Loofbourrow, NCTD's safety chief said. "There is no such thing as illegally crossing a railroad track safely. It's always unsafe, and it's always wrong to jeopardize the safety of others just for the convenience of crossing where you want to cross."
For most, the gravity of Monday’s extraordinary celestial event isn’t appreciated. San Diego public libraries and the University of California, San Diego Extension presented programs on the history and science of solar eclipses to help the public gain a better handle on things.
Terror attacks in Barcelona, Spain, this week have provoked nationwide vigils and displays of unity, including here in San Diego County.
Councilman Chris Cate hosted a “bags” tournament Saturday to benefit junior lifeguards and the good deeds of local police.
Evacuation orders affecting hundreds of people were issued in California and Oregon as wildfires neared small towns, including one that's a prime location for viewing the eclipse.
Left-wing groups and Berlin residents prevented more than 500 far-right extremists from marching Saturday to the place where high-ranking Nazi official Rudolf Hess died 30 years ago.
Temperatures are expected to be about average over the next week throughout San Diego County with the warmest temperatures in that period expected Friday and Saturday.
Coming together to celebrate diversity was the message of a block party Friday night in North Park – which took on new meaning after the violence in Virginia.
Laguna Beach in Orange County is gearing up for a large anti-immigration rally this weekend and police are preparing for any trouble that may come out of the “America First” protest set for Sunday.
The brother of a Sinaloa cartel leader has been arrested at an Arizona border crossing, less than a month after his nephew surrendered to U.S. authorities.