But he says in this case, in an effort to get a better look at the tracks, which intersect Oxford Ave. on a sharp angle, the driver stopped too close.
"It just turns out that he was stopped directly underneath the crossing arm. So when the crossing arm was coming down it would have come down on top of him. He had made the safety stop and then started across the crossing because, as we would tell any motorists, you don't want to sit in between the gates. You want to get out of there," Sauer said.
The gate arm broke off as it was designed to do. Sauer says it was repaired a half hour after customers and railroad crews reported it.
The driver is being interviewed, and SEPTA will determine whether any disciplinary action is necessary.