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Text messaging may have caused train wreck that kills 25 in California!

By Dr Dij ·
and critically injures 45 more.

On channel 2 news, a 15 year old said he was text messaging the engineer of the metro link train that crashed in california about two minutes before the crash. Appears it is a common practice for them to hang out watching the train track and text the train as it goes by like groupies. Perhaps the engineers get an ego boost from this. I can understand a fifteen year old being stupid enuf to not realize the ramifications of this type of action. Can't understand the engineer who is an adult doing it tho.

Hard to believe amtrack [woops, metrolink, not amtrak] lets them. perhaps they didn't know about it. a spokesperson said cell phone use was highly discouraged.

The driver ignored 3 warning red lights, and smashed into a stopped freight train. Possibly due to being distracted by text messaging. Sounds like a serious case of bad judgement by the engineer, who is now dead.

I think the telephone ban in cars includes text messaging here. I suppose it does not include train drivers officially.

I've seen cellphones and texting creating other problems first hand. I witnessed two girls walking against the walk light near the OC Fair while staring at their cell phones, across a 5 lane very busy road and freeway exit. A cop was yelling at them to stop. They continued to walk across anyway. The cop asked them if they had heard him, they said no. A youngish fellow followed them across, similarly on his cell phone.

I was on my bike waitig for the light and said something about outlawing cellphone use while walking, and apparently this really cut to the bone. He said something like "you shouldn't have said that". Wow, some people sure can't admit they did something wrong! He'll probably walk into a car sometime in the future I guess.

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What is sad about your example

by w2ktechman In reply to Text messaging may have c ...

"He'll probably walk into a car sometime in the future I guess"
Is that it will likely be the Drivers fault!
Unless there are plenty of witnesses at least.

Although not cell phone related, a newer law in Ca. says that
a driver must yield to pedestrians always.
I have seen this abused, it is like people see those signs and then ignore common sense cause if they get hit its not their fault.

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Almost hit someone

by Dr Dij In reply to What is sad about your ex ...

almost 20 years ago. Late at nite in LA area just west of downtown on a wide but not very busy street, I was doing maybe 45 and drunk was staggering across the street in the middle of the block. I barely avoided him, but you're right would have technically been my fault. Same thing happens with hispanic immigrants. They tend not to realize the speed of cars if they have not had one. A middle aged gal and kid late at night walked across middle of block of major blvd with dark colored clothes, almost hit them.

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bicycle riders are the same way

by w2ktechman In reply to Almost hit someone

I used to take a path home, which was the big street (led to the freeway). this is before I moved.

Anyway, bicycle riders know that drivers are supposed to give the right of way to them, so some of these a-holes do the stupidest things. Most however do pay attention. But many are just friggin morons, that I suspect are looking to get injured for a settlement.
A few years ago on this road, they tried reducing the speed limit from 45 to 25 because a bicyclist was killed. The driver was arrested and car impounded. 3 days later there was a second article in the times that the driver had been let go. This was due to SEVERAL witnesses that stated (on the scene 3 days before) that the bike rider never looked before cutting over 2 lanes (when she was hit).

Now, if there were several witnesses at the scene, why did the driver sit in jail for 3 days? And why was the city governance so quick to try to pass dropping the speed limit on an already heavily congested road?

I guess what I am getting at is -- California, full of Sh1tty laws to screw people over.
Californians -- too stupid to think on their own!

Oops, I guess I am one of 'em :0

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According to USA Today,

by CharlieSpencer In reply to Text messaging may have c ...

A Metrolink spokesperson said operating a cell phone was against the rules. I think it's important to note at this stage in the investigation the only report of text messaging is one child's statement. No one has yet examined the child's or the engineer's IM records or activity.

USA Today also reports at least one of two switches on that stretch of track was in the wrong position, possibly by force. I work for a company that manufactures track switches (not necessarily these switches) and we will be following that aspect of the accident very closely.

Incidentally, Amtrak is not involved with this. Metrolink is an LA-based commuter rail system and is not affiliated with Amtrak, although they (and others) operate trains on the same tracks.

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You're right

by Dr Dij In reply to According to USA Today,

It turns out they DO have cameras facing forward, plus a black box recorder.

The metrolink gal said that cell phone use was 'strongly discouraged', didn't say prohibited.

And maybe the engineer thought that a device that texts "isn't" a cell phone?

We'll just have to wait and see.

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I ride to work daily

by mjd420nova In reply to Text messaging may have c ...

Not a day goes by in NorCal that some a**hole diesn't cut me off or forces me to climb the curb to avoid becoming roadkill. Just last Friday I had to avoid an idiot female who couldn't signal or change lanes properly because her hands were full, an ice cream cone in one hand and the cell phone in the other. I ride to and from work everyday and never ride in the street unless I have to. If forced to ride in the street it's always facing the traffic so I can see and avoid the oncoming cars. I have been hit twice from behind so I always ride on the sidewalk when the lack of pedestrians allow. I see drivers everyday that block the crosswalks and pull across driveways and never once look both ways. One lady never looked to her right, I had to bounce my tire on her fender to get her to look my way, I wasn't stupid enough to cross in front of her unless I knew she saw me, or I'd wind up as a hood ornament. One driver was upset that I called him a jackass, he said he didn't see me, I told him that was because he didn't look. Where did these clowns get their license anyway.

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I love to ride to work

by Dr Dij In reply to I ride to work daily

and you're right. Can be scary.

I was going 4.3 miles to last job.
I found a route that was almost only on back streets with little traffic.

I would cross large streets at a light.
The only scary part was walking my bike across the bridge over the freeway, where people entering the freeway hardly look, and people exiting barely stop.

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I cannot even count

by Michael Jay In reply to Text messaging may have c ...

the times that someone in another car has cut me off or otherwise just made plain stupid moves because they were on the cell phone and not actually driving the car.

If it it true that the train wreck was caused by a cell phone or texting distraction, well crap that is just so irresponsible.

The death of so many just makes me sick, to think that a little inattention when you need to be focused can cause so much heartache.

I can only hope that the cause is not distracted train driving, that might make it a little more bearable.

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