Excessive Speed in Fatal Amtrak AccidentMay 22, 2018
While monitoring safety on the track between Baltimore and Washington, an Amtrak watchman was fatally injured after being struck by a train that was traveling at a high rate of speed. According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), it has not yet been confirmed whether speed was the sole cause of the train accident. There were other important safety procedures that were not being followed, including having the proper work zone restrictions in place.
When there is a breakdown in safety protocols, devastating accidents like this are more likely to happen.
According to a consultant for Robson Forensic Inc., when the train engineer, the dispatcher, and the roadway workers all follow the rules and make safety a priority, accidents are highly unlikely. Unfortunately, there have been a number of what the NTSB refers to as “active failures and latent conditions” at Amtrak, including employees who have tested positive for drugs, and numerous incidences of employees failing to follow the rules.
Improvements to Safety Management Are Critical
The NTSB Chairman stated that the safety culture at Amtrak is in need of major changes and improvements. As a result, of the NTSB’s recommendations, Amtrak claims to be conducting a number of “quantitative and qualitative risk assessments”, to determine whether speed restrictions are an effective tactic.
In addition, workers have been urged to have more productive and effective communications regarding work-zone procedures. They have also been ordered to develop a bulletin that clarifies safety protocols, and create an independent group that oversees compliance issues. To date, Amtrak has not yet responded to the NTSB’s recommendations.
According to an Amtrak spokesperson, the railroad responded to the NTSB, and plans to establish a safety management system that helps the organization make safety an important part of every major decision made. The spokesperson also said that the agency will be implementing other recommendations as well.
The details surrounding the most recent fatal accident are still being investigated, so it is not clear whether the train should have been traveling at a slower speed. In some cases, too many speed restrictions can cause major train delays that disrupt schedules.
However, when speed issues cause fatal wrecks, it is a matter that must be examined further. Amtrak’s management is responsible for the safety of their engineers, operators, and crew.
Baltimore Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Obtain Compensation for Victims of Train Accidents
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed in a train accident, it is in your best interest to contact the highly skilled Baltimore accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. Protecting your legal rights is our top priority and we will conduct a thorough investigation to determine who is responsible for your injuries. If the train was going too fast, or there were other safety violations, we will hold the negligent party responsible and seek the maximum financial compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
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