Sunday, January 4, 2009

A Trash Crash Down Under

Since I’m off to Australia to ride some long-distance trains in another few weeks, I’ve been paying closer attention to any rail news from that part of the world.

Yesterday I came across a news report from the Australian state of Queensland about a fatal accident at a grade crossing – called “level crossings” there – involving a passenger train and a garbage truck.

The truck driver was killed and, since this was the third such fatality in recent weeks, there is now a hue and cry for the installation of gates and flashing lights at more of these crossings. Unfortunately, as we know from our own experience in the U.S., these safety devices don’t keep some people from driving around the barriers and into the path of oncoming trains.

Clearly, there are careless and stupid drivers everywhere in the world. And dead ones.

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