Thursday, October 2, 2008

It is Hard to believe this..but it is so...

Texting confirmed


Published: Thursday, October 02, 2008

LOS ANGELES -- The train driver blamed for the worst U.S. train crash in 15 years was sending and receiving text messages seconds before his crowded commuter train skipped a red light and collided head-on with a freight train, killing 25 and injuring 135, federal investigators confirmed yesterday.


Anonymous said...

Now let's compare that to the number of people who died or were injured in cars due to texting while driving on the same day.

I would bet money that the number is horrifying.

Anonymous said...

His union will protect him, don't worry he'll be fine.

I have witnessed texters holding up traffic, but the worst case scenario is always a possibility. Yes, I'm sure the number of accidents caused by texting is quite high, your brain goes into another mode and you stop "thinking".

Anonymous said...

The texting info came out in early news reports, and I had the same reaction...until I heard that the driver was given the device so that he could communicate with his base of operations. I've been waiting to find out the name of his intended recipient - operations, family or friends.

Haven't heard that yet, so I guess the name will be revealed later.

Liz J.

Anonymous said...

David, the train driver and text messaging are being used as a scapegoat for this dreadful accident.

The real story is the 19th century train signalling and the lack of automatic train protection and automatic train stops are not used.

ATP & ATS have been in use in the UK and Europe for almost a century!

ATP prevents trains from having collisions, even on single track. SkyTrain has ATP.

ATS is older and more basic, if a train passes a signal at red, the train stops. The first tube trains in London has this in 1906 and the GWR has this fitted to their mainline in the 30's.

When a train passes a signal at red, a mechanical or electrical device automatically applies the brakes. Simple and very effective. Simple trams (streetcars) coexist, track-sharing, with freight and passenger trains on the mainline railways in Germany for almost two decades without serious accident.

The real scandal is that there is absolutely no automatic safety devices on this commuter/freight line. The real villains rare the train operators, not the driver.

Most French tram (LRT) systems have GPS ATP, yet no one in California seemed to want it.

Also the Bombardier built commuter cars (same on the West Coast Express) also were very fragile in the accident and most of the deaths occurred when the locomotive 'telescoped' into the passenger car. This is poor design.

Please watch this U-TUBE video of tram/train operation.

Malcolm J.

Anonymous said...

Mandatory jail time for text messaging while driving!

Anonymous said...

I would recommend, going to Google maps and trace the rail route where this dreadful accident took place.

A curving mountainous area with tunnels and few passing tracks. Why was there not better signalling?

With a more detailed look, much of the line was double tracked, but now (probably for economy reasons, converted to single track operation. Well with the huge payouts for death and injury, with total costs exceeding $50 million, I wonder if better signalling would have been cheaper!

Malcolm J.