How Does An Accident Like This Happen?

This morning’s Hoboken, NJ train crash into the terminal at high speed.  First thoughts sadly these days are terrorism, mindful of The French Connection.  Except this was no Hollywood story of Gene Hackman racing the clock to prevent a runaway hijacked subway car from crashing into its terminal in Paris.

This morning it was the real thing.  Of course, it may have nothing to do with terrorism and simply be operator error.  The motorman in the front car asleep at the wheel, perhaps drug induced, sleep deprived, heart attack, or some other explanation.  Over a hundred injured, and with fatalities still being sorted out as a result of slamming through the terminal’s retaining wall.

In this day and age of impending driverless cars, how could there not be an automatic override switch? A train approach it’s terminal at excessive speeds beyond a certain part has to have the brakes remotely applied to negate operator error or terror.

About Leonard J. Press, O.D., FAAO, FCOVD

Developmental Optometry is my passion as well as occupation. Blogging allows me to share thoughts in a unique visual style.
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4 Responses to How Does An Accident Like This Happen?

  1. drdanpress says:

    “Some federal lawmakers said positive train control — a system that combines GPS, wireless radio and computers to monitor trains and stop them from colliding, derailing or speeding — might have helped in this situation. Dinh-Zarr, of the NTSB, said part of the focus of her agency’s investigation will be on positive train control and whether it could have prevented the crash.
    New Jersey Transit has not yet installed positive train control, although it does an older safety system. Congress originally required the newer safety system to be installed by the end of 2015, but extended the deadline to the end of 2018.”

  2. Good investigative reporting, Dan. They had better install it now!

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