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Opening Arguments

Staying off-track

Indiana is a leader!

Indiana has about 6,000 public pedestrian and highway railroad grade crossings, which is more than all but four other states. Because of the high number of highway-rail conflict points, Indiana is consistently among the top states with the most railroad crossing crashes. During 2008, there were 139 highway-rail crashes in Indiana, resulting in 44 injuries and 19 fatalities.

The headline on the story is "Too many car-train incidents," which is an odd thing to say when you think about it. It implies that a certain number of car-train incidents -- don't know what it is, maybe there should be a study -- would be acceptable. Go over that number, though, and it's - whoops! -- too darn many car-train incidents.

The story quotes the Indiana Department of Transportation commissioner as saying that "all train collisions with vehicles or pedesterians and in some way preventable." That's not really all that helpful, so allow me to elaborate on "some way:" That train is not going to be in the prevention mode. It is big, it has a schedule, it can go no where else but on those tracks. Prevention is the job of the certain loser in any train-not train collision, i.e. the car, other vehicle or pedestrian. So, above all, don't drink and drive or walk across train tracks.

You're welcome.

Posted in: Hoosier lore


Bob G>
Mon, 02/08/2010 - 11:35am

As a railfan from a bygone era, and having taken LOADS of pictures in many states of "railroadiana", I've NEVER had any incident with trains either on foot or in a vehicle.

I am wondering if having a good, healthy RESEPCT for those huge trains has something to do with it, and if so, could there be a lesson for others to learn from, and perhaps apply to other aspects in their lives?

Just a thought.

Hey, maybe we were just "trained' better as we grew up?
(I can hear the groan from here)

Bob G.
Mon, 02/08/2010 - 11:36am

And the word is RESPECT, sorry about that, chief.