Wants more protection from train wrecks

COURTESY TO THE BELLINGHAM HERALDJanuary 17, 2014 

Why is it that reasonable people who accept safety regulations for airplane, automobile and truck traffic become upset when increased safety regulations are proposed for train traffic?

Most people see the logical reasons for speed limits, weight limits, safety inspections, safety equipment (seat belts, safety glass, etc.) and insurance requirements for liability. What is wrong with requiring dangerous railroad cargo (oil, coal, propane, butane, chlorine, anhydrous ammonia, etc.) to have:

More rigorous tank car safety inspections;

More frequent track inspections;

Reduced speed limits for trains in urban areas;

Larger liability insurance requirements for dangerous cargo;

Limits on the number of rail cars in these unit trains;

Safety equipment in cars that crews can use before first responders arrive.

Why is the safety of our community and loved ones less important than the profits of Buffet's BNSF or the oil refineries? Where are the corporate leaders who see themselves as good corporate neighbors? When did our corporate and political leaders forget that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure or that it is better to be safe than sorry? Or lose the wisdom to protect Bellingham from the real possibility of an exploding oil train.

Thomas Gilmore

Bellingam

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