Florida’s Brightline Train Kills another Pedestrian
Just in its January opening week, Florida’s new high-speed train resulted in three people being struck, with two dying.
Sadly, these tragedies are far from over: On April 8th, it hit and killed yet another pedestrian, marking the fourth person who has been struck and killed since service began between Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. An additional three other people were also struck by the train, but survived, early this spring. That’s a total of seven people hit in just a little over two months.
What Needs To Be Done?
Given the number of injuries and fatalities associated with the train thus far, one would expect that train officials would make some noteworthy changes. As of March, officials simply asserted that they had put up warnings indicating that Brightline travels faster than other trains. Is this enough in terms of proper safety measures?
Experts suggest that one extra safety tool to stave off train fatalities like these would include crossing gates known as “quad gates” that provide more security. While traditional crossings usually have one or two gates, quad gates cover all corners of an intersection, which makes it hard for people to get past them.
However, while 60 of these barriers are scheduled to be installed across Broward and Palm Beach Counties, that still leaves dozens of other crossings neglected; largely due to how much it costs to get a quad gate (versus a traditional gate) installed at a crossing. It turns out that out of 131,000 public railways in the entire country, only 862 of them reportedly have quad gates. The decision to put these up is largely left up to the cities themselves, and that can largely depend upon available funding. There will be a reported 35 quad gates installed along the Florida East Coast Railway in Palm Beach County, for example, with 24 of them in Broward County alone.
Still, quads could not prevent every fatality, as the two individuals killed by trains last month in Boynton Beach were present on the tracks even with gate arms down at the time. Brightline is reportedly also adding additional safety features, such as bells, upgraded crossings, flashing lights, medians, raised curbs, more road and sidewalk gates, and signs. However, once complete, the intersections would operate as “quiet zones,” which means there would be no sounding of horns throughout neighborhoods as the train approaches. This could pose a serious safety issue.
In addition, in February, Brightline indicated that it would be completing this work in March; indicating that there was yet another accident in April even after some of these measures were put in place.
Florida Train Accident Recovery Attorneys
Your safety should not be a budget issue. If you have been injured by Brightline or any other train in Florida, contact our Boca Raton personal injury attorneys at Lavalle, Brown & Ronan today to find out how we can help.