A frightening close call with a Metra train raised eyebrows Wednesday.
Video shows a suburban police officer swerve at the last second to avoid being hit after the crossing gates failed to come down in time.
The question is— why?
Lights flashing, bells ringing, gates down--that's what's supposed to happen when a train is crossing.
But a Mokena police officer — seen in dashcam video driving down 191st Street last month—had a completely different experience.
With no warning— a Metra train comes out of the left hand side.
The officer swerves left and jumps a curb to get out of the way.
It isn’t until the train is about half way through — the crossing gates finally begin to lower.
You can only imagine the alternate ending.
Metra tells NBC 5 the train was going 52 miles per hour when it crossed through this intersection when the conductor noticed the crossing gates never came down. He pushed the emergency break but that was already after the train had just barely missed several cars.
Metra says the signal system is designed to fail-safe with the crossing gates down, but a short in the equipment caused the system to think a train was sitting on the tracks. The gates eventually timed out and went up and didn’t have enough time to go back down before the train moved through the crossing.
Gus Ubaldi is a railroad expert with Robson Forensic.
"You are supposed to get a minimum of 20 seconds of warning before a train arrives at a crossing," he said. "You are required to have a minimum of five seconds with the gates fully horizontal before the train arrives at the crossing."
Metra is urging the public to report crossing gate malfunctions using the number on these blue signs.
For now— some drivers, like Jordan Peloquin, who cross these tracks daily say— they’re taking a new approach.
"I’ve definitely taken a second look just anytime I cross trains now," Peloquin said.