Express Yourself

About anything and everything on the planet

October 1, 2008

Engineer Sent Text 22 Seconds Before Fatal Crash

The danger of texting while driving has been personified by the Metrolink train crash that took place in California a couple of weeks ago. The initial speculation that the train engineer was texting has been proven. Robert Sanchez sent a text message at 4:22:01 p.m. and the crash took place at 4:22:23. That means that 22 seconds elapsed between the last text message Sanchez sent and the crash that killed Sanchez and 24 other people.

What could have been so important that it was worth texting while steering a train full of people? Good question. Two teens who are train enthusiast said at the time of the crash that they had been talking shop with Sanchez. The 46 year old engineer who it is said lived a lonely life, caused a crash that killed himself and two dozen others because he was talking about trains. How disturbing is that?

Text messaging has become a way of life for many people. There are entire relationships built on the backs of text messages. Empty, electronic words sent form one phone to another, void of emotion or feeling is how we are getting through life these days. Guiding a powerful train safely through the suburbs of California some how did not triumph the importance of having immediate communication. Surely a couple of text messages were not worth the lives that were taken.

The California Public Utilities Commission banned text messaging on the job after the crash. However, knowing when someone is texting or not can be difficult to figure out. There are a number of ways to conceal what is being done. If you are alone in the front of a train, how can anyone know that you are texting? Surely if someone had seen Robert Sanchez at work texting away, someone would have said something. The thing is that he was the engineer. Who would have been in a position to catch him?

Cell phones have become such a mainstay that not having one is largely unthinkable. Now that just about everyone has a cell phone, more and more people are texting opposed to calling one another. Sending an electronic message is preferable for many people to calling one another. This is a scary thought. First telephones were used to make up for the inability to be face to face. Now text messaging is taking communication to a lower level. Now, not only will you not see the person’s face, you would even be able to hear their voice. Text messages take the human factor out of communication.

Now that text messaging has been banned on Metrolink jobs, it will be interesting to see how the ruling is enforced. It is also important to note that there is no federal or California law banning use of cell phones by engineers while trains are in operation. The Commission President said the cell phones could have possibly played a part in train crashes in San Francisco and Sacramento this year. How can we know if the engineer of our commuter train is text messaging or not?

Similar Posts:

Post a Comment