I met Joe, a delightful individual, last week in Decatur as he was preparing to perform his monthly maintenance check on the railway signal at the corner of College and Chandler. Joe has been working for the CSX railroad for 36 years. It is his responsibility to maintain the railroad signals along the stretch of tracks between Clarkston and downtown Atlanta. Because the railroad passes through the middle of Decatur, I am frequently stopped by the flashing red lights and gate arm to wait for a train to pass and find myself perturbed. The trains pass at a snail’s pace and appear to stretch on for miles. I have noticed that these signals engage as an approaching train’s whistle is heard but before it can be seen; ample time to safely clear the tracks. I asked Joe whether accidents occur on the tracks at crossings with these signals. I was surprised to hear that on occasion a driver will accelerate in the attempt to cross the tracks before the gate arm lowers. Sometimes the driver is not successful and becomes stranded on the tracks with an approaching train. I then inquired whether people got out of their cars when they found themselves in this dangerous situation and he replied that drivers often panick and remain in their vehicles. I am sure to remember Joe’s words the next time I feel peeved about being stopped by a railroad signal. A ten minute interruption in my daily routine is certainly preferable to the alternative.