This woman needs to lose custody of her child NOW

Regardless of whether you support the Occupy movement or not, this kind of behavior is not acceptable, ever. Her magical “faith in humanity” is meaningless. The humanity of the engineer has damn all to do with how long it takes a train to stop. Good intentions will not change the laws of physics. And since she was at the entrance to a major port, she had no way to know whether the next train to come through would be a switcher with just a couple of cars or a mile long string of loaded hoppers weighing tens of millions of pounds.

Railroads don’t like collisions. I know; I was part of the field crew that did the archaeological compliance for the BNSF Triple Track project in the Cajon Pass. I had to attend the morning safety meeting every single day before starting work. And yet, according to Operation Lifesaver, 260 people were killed by collisions with trains in 2010, with another 810 people injured. Those injuries and deaths didn’t happen because the engineers wanted them to, or because the big faceless railroad corporation didn’t care. In nearly every case, they occurred because somebody was on the track when they should not have been.

(BTW, if you’re alongside the track and close enough that you could conceivably get in front of an oncoming train, you should expect the engineer to sound the horn. It’s considered polite to look at them and wave and let them know that you’re aware of the situation and not about to do anything stupid.)


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