Metrolink Officials Partner with Law Enforcement to Cut Down on Pedestrian and Motorist Traffic Violations on Train Tracks
Metrolink teamed up with several Orange County Law Enforcement organizations this morning to conduct a widespread traffic citation sweep as part of the California Operation Lifesaver Program, the Orange County Register reports.
Operation Lifesaver is a national non-profit program with individual chapters in many states whose goals are education, enforcement and engineering of California’s rail-crossing stops, according to the California Operation Lifesaver website. The program often gives presentations to school groups and emergency responder organizations in addition to aiding law enforcement in conducting traffic sweeps. In this morning’s sweep, 233 citations were issued and six people were arrested for violating rail-crossing laws.
One of the most common ways that pedestrians break the law and put themselves at risk is by crossing train tracks as a short cut. This is especially dangerous because trains cannot stop quickly, and the noise emitted from a train is often heard to the side of the train tracks, not to the front. Motorists too are at risk, when they try to beat the flashing lights that signal an approaching train.
The problem of pedestrian-train and motorist-train collisions can be reduced by taking the safety precautions (and following the law) that Operation Lifesaver and Orange County law enforcement promoted today by their sweep. Please protect yourself and your loved ones by avoiding the use of train tracks as a short cut on foot and by stopping behind the flashing rail crossing lights as soon as they start to flash when driving.
Sometimes safe, law-abiding pedestrians and motorists still find themselves the victims of serious train accidents. Train accidents have a higher likelihood of resulting in serious injuries than car accidents due to their sheer size and weight. If you or someone you know has been injured in a train accident and believe that another party is responsible, please contact experienced personal injury attorneys who understand how train accidents can disrupt and damage your life and fight aggressively to recover the maximum compensation that you need to move on.
An article in the Los Angeles Times reports that, from its inception in 1993 up to September 2008, 244 people have been killed on Los Angeles’ Metrolink Commuter Rail System. The Times cites Buena Vista Street in Burbank and Sunland Boulevard in Sun Valley as two of the Metrolink’s most dangerous crossings, where multiple drivers have been struck and killed by trains in recent years.
Critics say Metrolink officials have not done enough to develop safety upgrades in the areas where streets cross the railroad tracks, even after major accidents resulting in pedestrian and train passenger deaths. The National Transportation Safety Board ruled that poor intersection design and traffic lights contributed to the death of a 63-year-old driver at Buena Vista Street in 2003, even though Metrolink took no responsibility for the incident.
Family members of those killed by Metrolink trains advocate that Metrolink make numerous improvements, including warning systems, redesigned crossings, public safety campaigns, and photo enforcement cameras. To date, little to no upgrading has been done.
In cases where pedestrians or drivers are killed by trains, a personal injury attorney can help. At Law Office of Renee J. Nordstrand, we examine the circumstances surrounding the incident, and determine whether the intersection may have been poorly designed or maintained. If so, a city or maintenance agency may be held responsible.
Saturday, September 12th marks the one year anniversary of the Metrolink crash in Chatsworth that killed 25.
Metrolink has erected a plaque in Union Station near the crash site to honor those who lost their lives in the train accident.
Last year’s accident occurred when Metrolink train 111 collided head-on with a Union Pacific freight train. Preliminary investigation reports disclose that the Metrolink train’s engineer was using his cell phone to text message while operating the train that day.
In an increasingly technologically advanced world, cell phones can often lead to negligent behavior while operating a train, car, or bus. You can protect yourself and those around you by refraining from writing text messages while driving or operating a motor vehicle.