Union Pacific Railroad is launching a multi-media public safety campaign aimed at encouraging drivers in Shreveport, Lafayette and Baton Rouge to safely use railroad crossings.

The ad campaign features radio spots and billboards to remind residents of key railroad safety tips. One main message is: if the gates are down, don't go around.

"It takes a train traveling 55 mph more than a mile to stop, so by the time a locomotive engineer sees you on the track, it’s too late to stop. For that reason, it’s important to use caution at every crossing," said Senior Special Agent Jay Holman with the Union Pacific Police Department in a news release. "Union Pacific is committed to safety in the communities we serve, and this campaign is meant to remind drivers that you’re never too late to wait for a train."

UP also has a Crossing Accident Reduction Education and Safety (UP CARES) initiative, which promotes pedestrian and driver safety through several outreach channels:

Grade crossing education and enforcement, during which motorists violating rail crossing signage and laws are educated about the dangers of such actions. Related "positive enforcement" initiatives reward drivers who operate safely at grade crossings.

Safety trains, hosting local law enforcement, media and public officials and providing them the opportunity to ride in the locomotive cab and see traffic violations from a locomotive engineer's point of view. This also allows Union Pacific to connect with community leaders and help them better understand the railroad's safety focus.

Communication blitzes, which educate the public via community events, media outreach and paid advertising. Media outreach coincides with safety trains in UP communities.

Take a look at the video about UP's public safety campaign and the employees featured in the radio spots: