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Caltrain vehicle strikes spike in 2015

A dramatic increase in the number of vehicles hit by Caltrain commuter trains this year has transit police and at least one city police department working together to increase enforcement efforts, a Caltrain spokeswoman said Thursday.

Caltrains have hit six vehicles since Aug. 1, most recently on Wednesday night near Bayswater Avenue in Burlingame, Caltrain spokeswoman Tasha Bartholomew said.

No vehicles were hit by the agency’s trains in 2014, Bartholomew said:

“It’s been unusually high this year.”

In a Feb. 23 incident, a 30-year-old woman died on Ravenswood Avenue in Menlo Park when her car was struck, the only vehicle strike to kill someone this year, according to Bartholomew.

Caltrain officials are not sure why there’s been such an increase, but police are taking action to prevent future crashes, Bartholomew said:

“There’s a few things that are happening in terms of enforcement and education.”

Transit police and Burlingame police have started working together to give out warnings, citations and educate people on safety around train tracks, she said.

Along with the incident Wednesday near Bayswater Avenue, two other strikes have happened in Burlingame at Broadway Avenue, according to Caltrain.

Bartholomew said Caltrain previously had a close relationship with a driver education program and agency officials are talking about bringing rail safety education back to local driving schools.

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