Thursday April 24, 2014

LETTER: Truck driver has to take blame for train-truck collision in city


To the Editor:

I apologize to those who have already heard me rant on this subject … but, as a professional semi truck driver with over 8,000,000 kms of safe driving and no commercial vehicle accidents, may I offer the city, the police, and the railroad companies my thoughts on the “accidents” at the Queen Street crossing?

Not one single news item in print, on the radio or TV, has addressed the real problem here.

Everyone wants to change the physical part, cutting trees, the curve in the tracks, (turn your unit a bit and LOOK, roll down your passenger window and listen, it’s worth the time), and the distance from stop sign to stop sign.

 I will address the latter. No one has blamed the driver. The driver is 100 per cent responsible for this accident. It’s truck driving 101, when you approach uncontrolled railroad crossings, even with a stop sign, that you never stop with any portion of your vehicle, whatsoever on the tracks or with the potential for any part to be on the track.  

You don’t even shift gears when going across the tracks, just in case something jams and you can’t move. If you are travelling south on that road and before you get to the actual crossing itself, and you haven’t seen that there is a R&R sign ahead, have looked to the right (in plenty of time to view right back to the 39/13 crossing), then  you are just looking for trouble.  

There is plenty of time to look to the right as you approach the first stop sign and see an almost clear view of any trains coming. When you get to where the trees are, it is already too late to have a clear view.

But then why would you go across a railroad crossing if you aren’t 100 per cent sure it will be clear by the time you completely clear it, whether there is a  short span between the stop signs or not. One should never cross RR tracks without making sure it’s clear and will be, first, then go. The drivers are 100 per cent at fault as with 95 per cent of all accidents.


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