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Should We Question Our Train Driver?

December 6, 2013
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If you have been injured due to an operator error our White Plains Mistake Operator Accident Attorneys can represent you and assert your rights. People should fear negligent operators of mass transit systems. Public transportation systems are vital to our way of life. We have to be sure that our public transport operators are safe. Unfortunately, public confidence in Metro-North’s ability to keep customers safe is a growing concern. The Metro-Norte derailment on Sunday, December 1, 2013 was caused by an operator error. MTA union officials commented that the driver, William Rockefeller, is to blame for the fatal derailment. The Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo states the cause of the accident, “It will be an operator error, it seems.” Cuomo then poses the question: “Is there any way to correct an operation error?” Yes there is, with a technology called “positive control train .
“The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said the Hudson Line train was 82 mph on a 30 mph curve before it was derailed, killing four passengers and leaving dozens injured. The NTSB has not issued an official comment on the cause of the accident due to the ongoing investigation. Officials at the NTSB ruled out alcohol as a possibility that caused the accident. The accident came after a tumultuous year of safety errors and train crashes.

MTA plans to implement new safety devices to prevent accidents in the future. Critics contend that the accident could have been avoided if positive control of trains or PTC has been installed in their system. PTC is the collision prevention system and reduces operator errors, automatically avoiding causes of derailment. MTA and other railways attempt to delay all PTC systems until at least 2018. Railways are in violation of federal law and regulations. Congress passed a law of 2008 that requires PTC technology on some 60,000 miles of the 160,000-mile US rail network. The law was passed weeks after 25 people were killed in a Los Angeles commuter train accident. It requires all major railways to install 40 systems.

According to an NTSB report, the lack of a positive train control system was a contributory factor in a train collision in May 2011 in Hoboken, New Jersey, which left 30 injured. PTC technology works by communicating with thousands of towers along railroad tracks and on locomotives that provide punctual locations and speed data for railroad trains and drivers. Railways seek to delay the installation of the technology, which is required in corridors that transport waste and hazardous materials or passengers. PTC systems already exist. The lack of a positive train control system was a contributory factor in a May 2011 train collision in Hoboken, New Jersey, which left 30 injured. PTC technology works by communicating with thousands of towers along railroad tracks and on locomotives that provide punctual locations and speed data for railroad trains and drivers. Railways seek to delay the installation of the technology, which is required in corridors that transport waste and hazardous materials or passengers. PTC systems already exist. The lack of a positive train control system was a contributory factor in a May 2011 train collision in Hoboken, New Jersey, which left 30 injured. PTC technology works by communicating with thousands of towers along railroad tracks and on locomotives that provide punctual locations and speed data for railroad trains and drivers. Railways seek to delay the installation of the technology, which is required in corridors that transport waste and hazardous materials or passengers. PTC systems already exist. PTC technology works by communicating with thousands of towers along railroad tracks and on locomotives that provide punctual locations and speed data for railroad trains and drivers. Railways seek to delay the installation of the technology, which is required in corridors that transport waste and hazardous materials or passengers. PTC systems already exist. PTC technology works by communicating with thousands of towers along railroad tracks and on locomotives that provide punctual locations and speed data for railroad trains and drivers. Railways seek to delay the installation of the technology, which is required in corridors that transport waste and hazardous materials or passengers. PTC systems already exist.

PTC systems would be money well spent, but MTA officials are unwilling to face the millions of dollars strictly needed for train safety. Technologies such as PTC or security changes that are already being put into effect, says a spokesman for the MTA. Governor Cuomo ordered the MTA to put all employees through a safety review after the December 1, 2013 accident. In September 2013, the MTA has created a six-member panel to study the safety culture and all possible links between incidents. It is already moving forward with a confidential information system, where employees report security breaches to the authorities. Metro Norte is known for its safety culture laxas. PTC is a proven and effective technology in identifying safety issues and reducing injuries and exposure to accidents. It is a start for safety, but how can structural problems be solved, such as obsolete railway lines and closed curves? We stand there, with our obsolete systems, for now operators must avoid hazards on the runway and keep passengers safe.

In the future, PTC can be used to help curb trains for curves, avoid frontal crashes, avoid derailments, and provide operators with the most important information on track conditions and rail traffic. The human error factor can never be eradicated. We need systems like PTC to protect our travelers.

 
The Law Offices of Michael H. Joseph