An 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," she said.
On Sept. 13, a train struck an unoccupied vehicle at the East Meadow Drive crossing in Palo Alto.
According to Caltrain, the accident happened after the driver made a turn on to the tracks while following a GPS. She was reportedly following instructions to turn but turned onto the tracks instead of at the next street.
On Aug. 4, a train hit a car near Mary and West Evelyn avenues in Sunnyvale. The driver, who was later cited on suspicion of drunk driving and other offenses in connection with multiple crashes, was pulled from the car by a San Mateo County sheriff before the car was struck by the train.
The only vehicle strike to kill someone this year, according to Bartholomew, happened on Feb. 23. A 30-year-old woman died on Ravenswood Avenue in Menlo Park when her car was struck by a train.
She was apparently boxed in by traffic as the gates came down, according to officials.
Caltrain officials are not sure why there's been such an increase, but police are taking action to prevent future crashes, she said.
"There's a few things that are happening in terms of enforcement and education," she said.
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.