September 16, 2008 | Mark Paradies

Railroad Crash Corrective Action – Is Advanced Technology the Right Answer to Add Additional Safeguards to Improve Rail Safety?

 Photos 2008 09 13 13007650 260Xstory

It seems that “human error” may be a “cause” of the deadly train crash is California. We can all look at cell phone policies, human alertness/situational awareness, signal effectiveness, etc., and try to implement corrective actions to improve human performance. But a better question might be:

” Why is a single human action safeguard the only thing between life and death of hundreds of passengers?”

That is the question behind an article published by the Associated Press that pushes for advanced technology to automatically stop these kinds of accidents. The cost – about $2 Billion for nationwide implementation.

This is a real case where a cost benefit /Return on Investment calculation would be interesting. My guess is that with train accidents all over the country, it would be worthwhile – but this is only a guess without someone actually running the numbers.

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