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Shapiro & Appleton

HRT Focuses on Light-Rail Safety to Prevent Train Crossing Accidents

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Hampton Roads Transit hosted Light Rail Safety Day on April 29, offering tours of light- rail trains and information about safety around the trains and tracks.  Two trains will be open to the public at the MacArthur Square station in downtown Norfolk, Virginia (VA). HRT staff will discuss features of the new trains and safety practices for when the system begins boarding customers later this year.  Since I'm a resident in the area as well as a Virginia personal injury lawyer I'm glad to see the company being proactive on safety.

Pedestrians and drivers alike will have to be careful to avoid personal injury with the new trains crossing through busy downtown Norfolk. A day before the HRT event, the driver of a San Francisco light rail crashed and injured dozens of passengers just after switching off the controls designed to stop the train automatically. 

Usually automatic braking controls stopped the incoming train before it entered the station, but the driver switched them off and began manually moving the train to the platform when he lost conscious, according to the report. The moving train then slammed into the rear of the second train already stopped at the platform.

This accident just goes to show that human error will always be a factor in train accidents.  Train crossings must be approached with extreme caution. Sadly, as experienced Virginia (VA) rail road accident attorneys our investigation shows that the business which owns the rail right of way fails to clear the brush or sight obstructions to avoid collisions and the serious damage they cause. Many times the signs are not kept up, the train whistles are not used as required or the surface of the road poses a danger. Tragically, I know first hand as a Virginia personal injury  lawyer that when pedestrians die on the tracks it is frequently a child who does not fully realize the risks of a train trestle or rail yard and the company has done nothing to try and prevent a disaster while knowing kids and others often walk the tracks.

CA


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