Deaths at railroad crossings in Texas have doubled in the last year, according to the Associated Press, opening up the discussion about whether the thousands of miles of track in the state are being safely maintained and monitored.
The uptick in the number of fatalities comes after four years of a decline in railroad crossing deaths attributed to the state implementing a federally mandated plan to improve safety.
The Dallas Morning News reports that critics of the railroads believe the railroads themselves are at fault for increasing the speed of trains without crossing gate timings.
In 2012, 32 people died at railroad crossings in Texas, according to federal data, news accounts and statements from the Texas Department of Transportation. In the four years prior, the state averaged only 20 deaths per year.