FRA Proposes Ban on Electronic Device Usage by Train Employees

Posted By Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP || 16-Jun-2010

Reckless driving practices often result in traffic accidents and personal injury in Sunnyvale and throughout the U.S. In recent years, the advent of new technology has created new ways for motorists to become distracted while behind the wheel, with cell phone use and text messaging being one of the primary culprits. Consequently, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has proposed an amendment to railroad communication regulations that would restrict railroad operating employee use of such devices while a train is in transit. According to a tmcnet.com article, the FRA is also seeking comment on whether or not a violation of the proposed amendment should result in a revocation of a railroad operating employee’s certification.

Despite the fact that motorists are prohibited from using cell phones while operating their vehicles, the question of whether or not the same rules should apply to public transit drivers is up for debate.

While electronic communication is somewhat of a necessity for public transit drivers, there have been far too many instances of inattention leading to injury accidents. The FRA cites numerous examples of inattention, such as a June 2008 incident where a Union Pacific Railroad Company brakeman was killed when he moved into the path of a train while engaged in conversation on his cell phone. Another citied incident took place in May 2004 in Texas involving a head-on collision between two trains in which 22 personal phone calls were discovered to have been made by five crew members on both trains in a span of less than four hours while the trains were in transit.

Transportation companies in Northern California have an obligation to ensure that all safety measures are strictly adhered to in order to protect not only passengers, but all other motorists and pedestrians as well. In the event that a Sunnyvale train accident occurs due to the negligence of a train operator, particularly if the train operator is distracted while using a cell phone or other electronic device, then accident victims are entitled to seek monetary damages from all involved negligent parties. Damages sought may help cover the costs associated with the accident, such as medical bills, physical therapy fees, and even wages lost as a result of injury.

If you have been involved in a Northern California train accident, please don’t hesitate to contact the experienced Sunnyvale personal injury attorneys at Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP. Our skilled Sunnyvale accident attorneys will fight to ensure that your rights as an accident victim are protected in a court of law. For more information and a free case consultation, please call (800) 900-0863 today.

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