State officials say they now have a new tool to help prevent fatalities on North Carolina's railway tracks. 

The North Carolina Department of Transportation conducted a four-year study to establish the extent of pedestrian trespassing on the state's rail network. The department used thermal cameras to help determine where trespassing on railroad tracks has been the biggest problem.

The motion-sensor cameras were installed on known trespassing paths at a number of sites including Greensboro, Mebane, and Salisbury.

The department says that information gathered can be used to develop profiles of trespassing activity, and help target their outreach and engineering efforts.

The study was conducted by researchers at the Institute of Transportation Research and Education.

According to NCDOT's news release, 22 people were killed trespassing on North Carolina train tracks in 2019, a number that has remained steady from year to year.

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