Friday, August 03, 2007

Are Safety Rails Really Too Much To Ask?

Because these things do happen

A belligerent assailant, a 17-year-old boy and a lack of safety rails came together with cataclysmic results yesterday, as another LRT (Light Rail Train) shoving incident took the life of Gage Jeffrey Prevost.

According to witnesses, Prevost was pushed off a terminal platform in Calgary by a 20-year-old woman with whom he'd been having an argument. He was crushed between the trains and died of massive internal injuries.

This most recent incident is far from isolated. They've happened several times in Edmonton. The most recent Edmonton incident, Chris Cassidy was pushed in front of a train by a 40-year-old man who claimed "voices" had told him to do it. He survived by squeezing up against the wall of the terminal. In 2000, Gordon Merrick pushed a 22-year-old woman in front of a train. Both men were charged with attempted murder.

And with good reason. Not many people win collisions with trains. In fact, the last time anyone checked, no one does.

The fact that remains is that neither Edmonton nor Calgary LRT systems have practiced due diligence. Safety rails in LRT terminals are actually an extremely inexpensive method of preventing these incidents.

They would make stopping the trains a little more difficult (operators would now have to stop the trains in precise locations), but in this most recent incident in Calgary, such rails would literally have saved a life.

That's an infantessimal price to pay, all things considered.


  1. Hopefully, this question will become an municipal election issue this fall, in both Calgary and Edmonton.

  2. It should. I actually dreamed up a spring-loaded handrail system that would even make it easier on the train operators.

    There's simply no reason to not have them.

  3. Load of horsepucky.

    A drug dealer and his friends push a woman out onto the c-train line.

    She gets even.

    I don't think safety rails will do anything to stop an angry woman from pushing a stupid thug out in front of the bus.

    I don't feel sorry for the bunch of stupid thugs and their girlfriends.

    Hand rails aren't the solution. Parents with some damn SHAME, and some police taking some names and numbers of the thugs downtown would.

  4. They'll just push them over the rails instead.

  5. Not bloody likely.

    Whether or not the individual in question was a drug dealer is not the question at hand. The fact of the matter is that such incidents have happened before, and safety rails can prevent them.

    The very physics of the act make it extremely difficult to push someone over a handrail. Throwing them over it is another question entirely.


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