Archive for June, 2010

Recommendation for a safety checklist for ferries is stalled

In 2003, the Staten Island ferry Andrew Barberi crashed into a pier on Staten Island, killing 11 and injuring dozens. The person at the helm had blacked out and left the ferry unmanned as it made its way toward the pier. In May 2010, the ferry once again crashed into a pier, this time because [...]

Fighting Fatigue

The effects of fatigue can be insidious. Without even realizing it, our abilities decline once we fail to get our recommended eight hours of sleep. Response times, decision-making, reflexes, mental focus and mood all begin to slide once a human begins building a sleep deficit. All the while, the propensity for risk-taking increases. In short, [...]

Hard Numbers: The value of a human life

What happened to Graniteville? I’ll be visiting the town to see how it was changed by the accident, and whether the residents blame the railroad, or just fate. Do they know the accident was preventable with train control technology that had been available for decades? The railroad lists a specific dollar amount as the value of a human life. I wonder if the people of Graniteville would agree.

United Express runway accident part of larger safety problem

Just a few hours ago, a United Express flight from Washington Dulles skidded of a runway in Ottawa, Canada, injuring three of the 36 people on board. Add it to the tally of growing runway safety stats.

Could you sleep soundly like this?

Most people work long days. We get up early, spend time stuck in traffic during our commute to work and when we come home from work, we have a dozen other things to do. But at the end of the day, there is a dark, quiet room, a comfortable bed and sleep. What if you [...]

Pilots: Let me tell your story

Any pilot’s typical day is long — it crosses state lines, time zones, oceans and sometimes continents. For many, the day starts early, ends late and involves flying hundreds of people inside a 75,000-pound manmade bird. Becoming a pilot is the dream of many young boys and girls across the world, but it’s more responsibility [...]

Are recreational boating laws too lax?

Chances are, it’s getting pretty warm wherever you are — and that means that it’s boating season across the country It’s a popular summer pastime, but its popularity makes marine safety officials nervous. The National Transportation Safety Board has had a standing recommendation to the states to improve their recreational boating safety since 1983. Nowadays, [...]

Highway safety could be financially savvy

Federal and state auto safety laws from the past 20 years saved over 85,000 lives and over $600 billion in costs, according to a report issued by Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety. The group cites these findings as a reason to push for more rules and regulations, they say this study points to the fact that [...]

How often do commercial drivers go 'doctor shopping'?

A congressional committee believes that commercial drivers, like bus drivers and truckers, can obtain a fake medical certificate with little chance of getting caught. The report by the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Oversight and Investigations also raises the concern of  “examiner hopping” (commonly known as “doctor shopping”), where a driver who fails a medical [...]

Rail Safety a Hot Topic in 2010

With so many people traveling in cars, buses and airplanes, who knew what a hot topic rail safety would be in 2010? It turns out the railroads had to submit a plan in April that showed how they were going to implement Positive Train Control. That’s basically a way to make sure if the train [...]