Qui tangit frangatur.

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A round peg in a world of square holes...

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Be(a)ware or be roadkill

One person definitely not on Santa's list this year:

Man talking on cell phone killed by train in San Leandro

By Steve Rubenstein
San Francisco Chronicle
December 6, 2007

(12-05) 17:02 PST SAN LEANDRO - A pedestrian apparently absorbed in a cell phone call was struck and killed by an Amtrak train in San Leandro today after he walked around a lowered crossing gate and onto the tracks, authorities said.

The victim, a man who was not immediately identified, was struck at 12:30 p.m. by a northbound Capitol Corridor train at the Alvarado Street crossing, about 8 miles south of the Oakland station, Amtrak spokeswoman Vernae Graham said.

None of the 20 passengers or crew aboard the train was injured. That train and two others were delayed and another Capitol Corridor train was cancelled, Graham said.

Crew members aboard the Sacramento-bound train told authorities they saw the victim talking on the cell phone before he was struck, Graham said. The warning lights and gates at the crossing were functioning properly, she added.



Selected comments

stimpy wrote:
Boy, that musta been one interesting conversation...

ontherightside wrote:
This is weird, I just wonder what was so important. I guess we will never know.

usafgen_jripper wrote:
Tragic. Was the train damaged?

trudat wrote:
Darwin triumphs again...

mrc11864 wrote:
Ya gotta love natural selection! There's absolutely no bias at all!

daninthesunset wrote:
Can you hear me n...

jackjack2 wrote:
Natural selection at work. Nothing to see here. Move along.

thatisjustcrazy wrote:
I'm curious who he was talking to and what the subject matter was. How important is it that you lose complete focus on your suroundings?

teddytenderloin wrote:
With all the bad news we get bombarded with every day, it's stories like this that restore my faith. One less idiot risking the innocent lives of others. I'm celebrating tonight.

sideshow_bob wrote:
Every day on the way to work I have to go through 40 city blocks to get to the freeway. On the way, I stop at all stops. I check both directions. I yield to pedestrians if they're obviously owed the right of way. But it never ceases to amaze me how many idiots walking and talking on their cell phones are completely oblivious to vehicular traffic, and whether or not they have the right of way they'll wander into the street without even looking to see if a 2 ton truck is about to flatten them. People, please, get off your freakin' cell phones when you're in a potentially life-threatening scenario, or at least tell the person on the other end to hang on a second while you look. Crosswalks do NOT act like a magic force field that protects you. The only thing that will protect you is PAYING ATTENTION. It's a phone... it'll still be there AFTER you look and act safely. THEN resume talking... sheez.

tenbaum wrote:
Can I claim his unused minutes?

jesus_jihad wrote:
More trains vs cell phone users

long_long_le wrote:
He won't do that again. Now if we can only extend the same demise to others in cars.

mugwomp wrote:
Hardly a tragedy. He killed himself instead of somebody else. The world is a safer place.

digit wrote:
This is just stupid. Glad he wasn't driving.

johnniebgoode wrote:
"What? What? You hear the train a-coming? When the heck did you turn into a Johnny Cash fan? So, you hear the train a-coming...what you expect - you won't see the sunsh......"

bmfarley wrote:
The headline is appropriate. I call it like I see it.... the Gate deserves a compliment. In past occurrences of ped-train incidents... the headline always indicated that it was fault of the train, "Train kills pedestrian". Ideally I'd like to see the headlines go further, like "Train 1, Pedestrian 0"

Webster9 wrote:
"Operator,-----Information,-----Give me Jesus, on the line !"

barenthresher wrote:
Good riddance. Hopefully, he didn't reproduce before he was removed from the gene pool.

rrrr wrote:
Rollover minutes.

jsbsf wrote:
Christmas is a time for giving. Give someone stupid a cellphone!


Oh, better make that two...

Cell Phone Blamed in Berkeley Train Death

November 16, 2007
The Associated Press

BERKELEY (AP) ― Being distracted while talking on his cell phone is being blamed for the death of a Berkeley man who was hit by an Amtrak train.

Authorities say 31-year-old Scott Slaughter was hit and killed by the train while taking a shortcut across two sets of tracks to get to work Thursday morning.

Witnesses say Slaughter waited for one train to pass on a first set of tracks, then crossed onto the second set of tracks and was hit by a second train.

A spokeswoman for the Alameda County Coroner's Bureau says Slaughter didn't see or hear the second train because he was on his cell phone.

The accident halted Amtrak service through Berkeley for about three hours.



Baulking at walking and talking

I noticed that increasingly, pedestrians are using their mobile phones while crossing the roads.

It is not only going to endanger one's life, but will also hold up traffic at busy intersections.

I do not see how urgently someone might need to answer a call while crossing the road. It takes merely half a minute to cross the road, and the call can be returned and the conversation continued at a safe spot.

While I have not read of any incidents involving pedestrians using their mobile phones reported here so far, there has been such incidents overseas.

I do not look forward to hearing about such incidents here before attention and awareness is raised on this issue.

Let's cultivate a good habit and make our roads safe and friendly.

Khoo Lih Han

(Khoo, Lih Han.  "Voices."  Today [Singapore]  7 Dec. 2007: 42.)


And then, there's Philip Roth (Thanks, dear)...

For me it made the streets appear comic and the people ridiculous. And yet it seemed like a real tragedy, too. To eradicate the experience of separation must inevitably have a dramatic effect. What will the consequence be? You know you can reach the other person anytime, and if you can't, you get impatient - impatient and angry like a little stupid god.

These little gods may like to know, in Buddhist philosophy, even gods die.

I hear the train a comin'
It's rolling round the bend...

Related posts
Well, what do you know? I'm not alone in this
Lemmings, lemmings, they drown
A voice in the wilderness, eh?
No cell phone
Cell phone, thy true name


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