Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Railroad safety: why aren't we outraged?

The May 12 Amtrak crash in Philadelphia was a terrible tragedy. The train was moving at 106 mph in a 50 mph zone, and jumped the tracks on a curve. Eight people died, about 200 were injured.

Another terrible tragedy is that most U. S. railroads are going to miss a long-standing legal deadline to install automatic speed controls on their trains this year.

The most terrible tragedy is that the only reaction of Congress right now is a move to extend the deadline.

Almost seven years ago, Congress mandated that automatic speed controls must be installed on the nation’s rail lines by the end of 2015. There has been spotty compliance. The Amtrak train involved in last week’s deadly crash, and the rails it was running on, had no automatic safety features to control its speed.

Why haven’t the National Transportation Safety Board and our elected representatives taken increasingly urgent steps to ensure compliance with the safety deadline?

Why aren’t some railroad execs going to jail?

The people who are supposed to care about this don’t care about it enough to do anything right.

Copyright © Richard Carl Subber 2015 All rights reserved.

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