Though the new Norfolk, Virginia (VA), light rail system isn’t set to open officially until August 19, 2011, a railroad crossing accident has already occurred. According to the Virginian-Pilot, a car collided with the rear car of a Tide train at 2nd Street and Brambleton Avenue and left the scene before police or Hampton Roads Transit officials could respond. No one was hurt in the crash that happened at around 7:45 am on August 11, but the rail car lost a quarter panel when the car, believed to be a blue Toyota sedan, clipped it.

As a resident of Norfolk, I have often wondered about the safety of these trains. Obviously, there was a great amount of planning involved. However, all the planning can be changed in the world can’t prevent accidents.Norfolk drivers need to be careful. These trains are everywhere you don’t expect them to be.

It’s unfortunate that the driver of the car chose to drive off rather than deal with the consequences of his/her actions. As a personal injury attorney, incidents like this one and a collision that occurred a few weeks ago between a bicyclist and a Tide train make me wary. Obviously, there will be some necessary time needed to master the learning curve when driving alongside a new train system. And HRT drivers are certainly training hard to drive as safely as possible. Still, it makes me pause and wonder how many more accidents will occur once the light rail trains officially open for business. Check out these safety tips we recommend for drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians who may come in contact with the new trains.