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Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by twa904, Nov 7, 2014.
Another senseless tragedy. Condolences to the crew and passengers.
A couple of questions:
What proportion of crossings are "unprotected"? Without gates or lights?
Has anyone looked at the emotional trauma that occurs to the crew after such an incident.
Obviously, friends and family (a guy that I went to school with lost a daughter at a crossing) are traumatized...but the crew?
No crossing arms or signs? Our hearts go out to the family for their tragic loss but the train has the right of way. It is the drivers responsibility ( not the train engineer or conductor) to insure safe passage across the tracks. The old signs at RR grade crossings said "Stop, Look and Listen". This unfortunately sounds like the driver did neither- a case of driver negligence with tragic consequences.
According to the news report, the driver may not have been wearing her seatbelt. Looking at the photo of the damaged truck, she may have survived if she had not been ejected from the vehicle. A sad day indeed for all involved.
I agree about the seat belt, it appears to me that the impact was centered on the front of the truck, as the engine and transmission are separated from the rest of the wreckage. In my experience I have seen worse damage and the driver walked away thanks to seat belts.
Another point is the crossing not only has the standard crossbucks but also a stop sign and it is labeled a private crossing. The stop sign means that you stop and do not proceed until it is safe to do so.
Yes, it is tragic for family, friends, engine crews, traincrews, and witnesses, but it was avoidable.
A very high price to pay for a momentary lapse in judgment. Prayers for all involved, especially the lady's children and other loved ones and the engineer.
Condolences to the family. It is a sad story repeated far too often.
Many, many years ago when I was taking my drivers test I failed to slow down and look both ways at a railroad crossing and for that I failed the test. The state policemen giving me the test explained just how dangerous crossing railroad tracks are and it is a lesson I've never forgotten.
Indeed. A private business crossing. Employees should have a good idea of the speeds and frequencies of trains. The business would have to pay for lights. Still, with a full stop, line of sight seems to be pretty good in both directions.
One has to ask - given the number of incidences we've seen here: was there a cellphone involved? Shouldn't be too difficult for LE to find her number and see if it was in use at the time, or a text had arrived just before, or if she was in the process of composing/sending one.... sadly we're seeing way way too many really clueless accidents of late... it used to be that one had to keep an eye open for the drunks on the road; but now it's the cellphone distracted that are killing the innocent. ... my condolences to the crew. :-( [my apologies if I'm being a bit sensitive, or maybe insensitive: had a fellow instructor in the department Friday almost killed in a head-on with a 20something that thought her texts were more important than driving responsibly.]
After reading the article again, they point out she was turning off US-17. Impeccable visibility both ways.
All the more reason I have to ask if there wasn't a cellphone complicit in this... if one is looking down at one's lap and not out the windows, then impeccable visibility both ways is a moot point. ... MADD in the 90's went a long ways toward changing the social norm w/re drunk driving - wonder how long it'll take for Mothers Against Distracted Drivers to rise up and help change the (current) social ethos?
Because many of those Mothers would first have to admit that they too have a cellphone problem. It's not just distracted teens that text or dial and/or talk when driving, I've had far too many unpleasant encounters with soccer moms in honkin' huge SUV's, cellphone in ear, screaming devil-spawn in the back, utterly oblivious to the world outside their windshield.
Private crossings are generally unprotected. North Carolina has a state program with some funding to add bells, gates, etc. to private crossings. But in most states, this is considered the responsibility of the landowner, and they will pretty much never pay for it.
The laws and regulations on private crossings are obscure and hard to find.
Sad, but painfully and very true. ... Although in the case alluded to, it was a 20something that nearly killed Anita: don't know if she'll ever teach again [she's facing a long long string of reconstructive surgeries, and that's over and above the question if she'll ever walk w/o a cane or braces in the future - and, this was a runner, marathoner, long distance swimmer]... all because of a stupid text.
Climbing up on his soapbox:
But what ever happened to personal responsibility? Why does there even HAVE to be laws and regulations?
Climbing down... somebody needs the wood.
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