The engineer blamed for causing last week’s deadly train collision was texting on the job, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. Officials say Robert Sanchez, who was killed, ignored a stop signal and never hit his brakes, resulting in the collision that killed 24 other people and injured over a 100 more. As a result, the California Public Utilities Commission is meeting today and are expected to announce a ban on personal use of all wireless devices by train workers. California’s Metrolink already prohibits it’s employees from using cell phones on the job. The accident is a tragic reminder of why texting and driving don’t mix.
“Texting is worse than talking on a cell phone because your eyes are down,” said Jack Gold, an analyst with J. Gold Associates in Northborough, Mass. in an interview. ‘This accident just points out the fact that a lot of people don’t use common sense while texting, and more legislation forbidding it is coming, I’m sure.’”
4 states have have bans on texting while driving in place, and bans are pending in 16 more, including California. Unbelievably, a lobbyist group called CTIA, which lobbies on behalf of all four of the country’s top cellular carriers, is against such bans, claiming education is more effective.
I’m not so sure about that. Everyone knows you’re supposed to keep your eyes on the road when driving but how many actually do? People have been ignoring that rule for decades, and people are losing their lives as a result. In the wake of last week’s tragedy, any cellular provider or legislator who speaks out against texting while driving bans is only going to shoot themselves in the foot.