Trains have been around for over 200 years and since their debut, they have become less and less dangerous because of modern safety features. However, in light of the recent deaths involving the Brightline train system, the Portfolio staff believes that more safety measures need to be put in place.
The Brightline system has hit four people since it began running on Jan. 13, killing two people and injuring two more. Two more people were also killed prior to the system’s official opening, in the testing phase, according to usatoday.com. The four hits happening after the train opened all occurred at railroad crossings.
Other, non-Brightline train crashes also show why more train safety measures are needed. One crash, happening in Virginia at the end of January, happened when an Amtrak train carrying several U.S. congressmen crashed into a garbage truck. At least one person was killed and several more were injured, according to nbcnews.com.
According to miamiherald.com, the Brightline company has said that its safety measures were not to blame for the crashes. While it might be true that none of the existing safety features were to blame, new features could easily be added to ensure that things like those mentioned previously will not happen again.
Lawmakers have are also concerned for safety along these railways. Florida senators Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson have called for a federal review of safety on the Brightline tracks. Brian Mast, a Florida Representative in congress called for the Brightline system to be shut down until the safety flaws were fixed.
The Brightline train affects millions of people, including anyone who rides it, and anyone who lives near the tracks. It is extremely important that this situation is resolved, and there are several possibilities on how to do it. Since most of the Brightline crashes were caused by people trying to beat the train at crossings, Brightline could create more substantial barriers to prevent people from crossing late. Another, more obvious solution is to post more signs at crossings, warning people of what could happen if they attempt to cross after the guard rails go down.
Whatever solution is picked to solve this problem will have a positive impact on the community and lead to less train related deaths.