COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN) -- Every three hours a train collides with a person or vehicle in the United States. Those collisions killed 488 pedestrians and 251 people in vehicles last year. In Ohio, 79 people were either hurt or killed around trains.

"The problem, unfortunately, is getting worse and I think that's because we've become an increasingly distracted society," said Russ Fletcher, an engineer who says he has a front row seat to a lot of bad decisions.

It's not uncommon for Fletcher to see vehicles dart across the tracks around the crossing gates or people walking along or on the tracks.

"I know that as a locomotive engineer that activity on trespassing instances certainly picks up in the summer months," he said.

Walking along the tracks is trespassing and you can be ticketed or fined for it.

Railroad companies are hoping that a new safety effort known as "See Tracks, Think Trains!" will keep people from thinking of railroad tracks as a shortcut or that they can beat an oncoming train at a crossing.

Stopping a fully loaded freight train can take up to a mile.

(Photo courtesy Getty Images)