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William K.
User Rank
Fatal accident despite all clear
William K.   9/8/2011 7:23:33 PM
It is certainly correct that there were a number of contributing factprs in this tragedy. There is no question about that. MY point is that if the process always demanded that the spotter be seen by the driver before initiating action, that would have prevented the incident, at least it should have, if the drivers reaction time and attention were correct. 

My point being that adding a bit of safety protocol to the process could reduce the need for all of that extra safety equipment. 

OF course, you will certainly here a different story from those who sell safety equipment. "When the only tool that you sell is hammers, suddenly all problems start to look like nails". That is what somebody else once said, and it certainly is correct. After all, nobody makes any money off of a safety protocol.

TJ McDermott
User Rank
Re: Fatal accident despite all clear
TJ McDermott   9/8/2011 6:57:27 PM
There's more than just blind spots on the cab wrong with the situation:

The author made note that the spotter was temporary.  Was he trained specifically for the task, or just someone who was available?

Safety is ultimately the individual's responsibiltiy.  Darting in to clear a cable without making sure the driver knew where he was is negligent on the individual.

There's lots of blame to spread around for this accident; the unfortunate spotter has some to share.

William K.
User Rank
Fatal accident despite all clear
William K.   9/8/2011 3:13:30 PM
One added procedure could also have probably prevented the accident. One extra step, which would be that after the spotter gave an "all clear", the spotter would then step into a spot outside the path and in the drivers view. The driver would not raise the fifth wheel or move until the spotter was visibly in the clear. No extra mirrors, no expensive camera, just a small change in the procedure that might add two or three seconds. which would not cost much, but would eliminate the possibility of such a tragedy.


Charles Murray
User Rank
Re: Sad story
Charles Murray   9/8/2011 10:03:21 AM
I agree, Beth. Stories of trainyard accidents are commonplace, going back decades. It would seem like trainyards would be the perfect place for the applications of life-saving sensors and back-up cameras.

Beth Stackpole
User Rank
Sad story
Beth Stackpole   9/8/2011 7:00:03 AM
Definitely not the type of ending any one would hope for. Given that current generation cars are now regularly equipped with some of the safety equipment you mention, particularly back-up cameras, I'm wondering if these trucks and trailers have now been outfitted with similar technology to address on-going safety concerns?

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