ADDICTION: Distraction is a major safety issue for drivers and pedestrians.
ADDICTION: Distraction is a major safety issue for drivers and pedestrians. iStock

OPINION: Fatal distraction putting people in line of fire

WE'VE been talking a lot recently about the dangers of distraction and transportation. They simply don't mix. One thing we struggle with is how to get this message across to people who seem unhealthily addicted to their mobile phones.

I stumbled across a series of short interviews with train drivers recently which were produced to raise public awareness of rail safety. One interview was particularly moving and difficult to watch and it's really stuck with me.

A young train driver recounted how she saw a pedestrian standing in the centre of rail tracks waiting for a freight train on the other line to pass.

She said he was completely oblivious to his surroundings, wearing headphones, and with his back to her approaching train. She talked about applying the emergency brakes and sounding the horn, about how he didn't hear her train hurtling towards him. She said she shut her eyes so she wouldn't have to witness him being run down.

I could tell the recollections were painful, it was abundantly clear that she'd never forget the incident.

Unfortunately this isn't an isolated incident. Distraction is a major safety issue for drivers and pedestrians.

There's plenty of commentary about fines and penalties, but the lasting impact on those who survive is seldom discussed.


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