|Issue of the Day Posts Tagged ‘Accidents’|
On Monday, Washington DC Metro experienced a collision between two above-ground commuter trains, resulting in 7 deaths and 76 people taken to hospitals, including two in critical condition. The crash site is still being treated as a rescue scene because there may still be bodies uncovered. In Metro’s 33 year history, there were 2 other major crashes—one in January 1982 where 3 were killed and a crash in 2004 that left many injured. In a report, issued by the National Transportation Safety Board in 2006, the Washington Transit Authority was warned about some of the cars that were involved in the Monday crash calling for either retrofitting or phasing them out. Recently, two crashes in Boston and Los Angeles occurred because of cell phone use. As a result, Los Angeles banned transit workers’ cell phone use while on duty.
In the last 13 years, the number of commuter rail transit mileage has increased 3 times from 4150 miles to 7000 miles in 2006. With President Obama’s energy plan calling for new construction projects and a greater emphasis on using mass transit as a way to cut greenhouse emissions, that number is expected to increase with the plan’s approval from Congress. Accidents with transit rail, even with the extra mileage, have remained relatively constant at about 3,000 separate incidents annually, ranging from minor to major, since 1985. The rate of accidents for rail continues to be the second safest mode of transport behind commuter air travel.