Skip to main content

You are correct, HW, and that is why I do not defend journalists of any stripe.  Too often, they select words which are technically correct but slanted towards conveying something, which creates headlines or supports a cause to which they adhere.  Try reading narratives of the same event in a left-leaning newspaper and a right-leaning newspaper.

We/I better drop a rant on journalists, or Honourable Webmaster will cut the thread.

You also are correct, GRJ.  The devil is in the details.  By massaging the details, one can create alternative facts.

As I get a little long in the tooth, I have more sympathy for "elderly couples" who get confused or fail to notice what is happening.  But all too often, these crossing accidents are the result of a knowing choice (going around the gates) or negligence (failure to STOP-LOOK-LISTEN).

Several decades ago, we had a horrific accident here in Virginia.  The Catlett VFD was responding to a fire.  The driveway to the fire crossed the Southern single-track mainline, guarded only by a crossbuck.  Blowing their siren loudly, they didn't hear the train horn.  Several firemen were killed.

Taking a devastating event & turning it into a positive.

On October 10, 1997 we lost students in a devastating train / car collision. I spent 36 years teaching Drivers Education at Milford High School and this collision had to be addressed in a manor that would help students learn from this collision.

Calling these students “Stupid” would be the wrong approach. Have to present this information in a manor that will help students to understand the facts and name calling is a poor way.

The DE Instructors teamed up with the Milford Times and they supplied us with photos to share. We also worked with The CSX Railroad “Operation Lifesaver”. The CSX Railroad had retired engineers who would come out to the school and talk to our DE Students. These engineers and the material they had to share met the objectives to help students. They never used the term “Stupid Driver”

Below are some photos supplied by our local newspaper: “Milford Times” and we are still using these photos today and “Operation Lifesaver”.

1 CSX Crash : Highland

2 CSX Crash : Highland 1997

3 CSX Crash : Highland

Hope this helps: Gary

Attachments

Images (3)
  • 1 CSX Crash : Highland
  • 2 CSX Crash : Highland 1997
  • 3 CSX Crash : Highland
Last edited by trainroomgary

In my "spare time" of which I don't seem to have as much lately, I teach new drivers in our volunteer departments the specifics of ambulance and fire apparatus response. I don't know whether, technically, our rules are part of the traffic code in New York, or in other states, but our policy is as  follows:  Every lane of intersecting traffic is to be considered a separate intersection. That means that approaching an intersection with multiple lanes going across, the driver is obligated to stop and look both directions, before crossing the next lane.  A railroad track, whether signaled or dark, is considered a crossing lane, and the driver is supposed to stop, or at least slow the F down considerably, before crossing the tracks.

"The siren was too loud" is not a valid excuse. If the fire engine was responding to an area that had un-signaled RR crossings, we may infer that it was a rural area, where use of the siren was <possibly> not a necessity.  We get lots of well-meaning volunteers who think that the siren is a weapon or force field that will push opposing vehicles out of the way.  They have been watching too many TV shows. We are obligated to sound the siren at intersections, but not to sound them constantly.  We are also obligated, by state law, to stop at every stop sign along the way. (Sometimes we actually do that.)

In my "spare time" of which I don't seem to have as much lately, I teach new drivers in our volunteer departments the specifics of ambulance and fire apparatus response. I don't know whether, technically, our rules are part of the traffic code in New York, or in other states, but our policy is as  follows:  Every lane of intersecting traffic is to be considered a separate intersection. That means that approaching an intersection with multiple lanes going across, the driver is obligated to stop and look both directions, before crossing the next lane.  A railroad track, whether signaled or dark, is considered a crossing lane, and the driver is supposed to stop, or at least slow the F down considerably, before crossing the tracks.

"The siren was too loud" is not a valid excuse. If the fire engine was responding to an area that had un-signaled RR crossings, we may infer that it was a rural area, where use of the siren was <possibly> not a necessity.  We get lots of well-meaning volunteers who think that the siren is a weapon or force field that will push opposing vehicles out of the way.  They have been watching too many TV shows. We are obligated to sound the siren at intersections, but not to sound them constantly.  We are also obligated, by state law, to stop at every stop sign along the way. (Sometimes we actually do that.)

"....each lane of intersecting traffic is to be consideted a separate intersection," is wise and safe.

Add Reply

Post
OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
330-757-3020

www.ogaugerr.com
×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×
×