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Group meeting Monday in Stuart in effort to stop Brightline expansion

Posted at 5:51 AM, Jan 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-29 12:47:42-05

Two deaths since the start of the Brightline service this month have prompted a group to discuss steps to stop the railway from expanding north of Palm Beach County.

RELATED: Brightline outlines safety campaign | Family of man killed by train wants investigation | VIDEO: Brightline nearly hits truck

Citizens Against Rail Expansion (CARE) says it is concerned about crashes and deaths happening along railways.

Since Brightline began testing last year, trains have hit five people and killed four.

Brightline has put up digital notices at some spots along the train's route but they aren't everywhere. 

The company recently wrote to CARE asking them to be part of Operation Lifesaver, an nationwide initiative they've teamed up with to promote rail safety.  

CARE Chairman Brent Hanlon said, "It will take more than just a public awareness campaign to address the dangers associated with your train."

CARE suggest infrastructure changes and high tech rail improvements is what's needed. It also suggest Brightline carry the burden of the cost, which the organization says Brightline has rejected to do.

Legislation has already been proposed in Tallahassee to allow for the Florida Department of Transportation to assess and decide which areas would benefit from a fence and Brightline would pay for it.

“It is more important than ever that we continue our fight against All Aboard. In the wake of the recent tragedies, we must do everything we can to prevent more of these catastrophes from occurring,” said Brent Hanlon, Chairman of CARE FL. “We want residents to pack the house for our meeting so we can educate them about our past successes and inform them of our next steps in battling this threat to the health and safety of our communities. The fight is not over.  Not by a long shot.”

The meeting is at the Lyric Theater in Stuart Monday at 7 p.m.

Tickets to the event are free but must be reserved by calling The Lyric Theatre Box Office at 772-286-7827.