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Text Messages banned on California Trains

September 18th, 2008 No comments

So did you catch the latest round of news about the California train crash?

It is official that text messaging is being banned on California Metrolink Trains while on duty.  According to a report by the California Public Utilities Commission that the train Engineer, Frank Sanchez, sent text messages while on the job.  As of now there is no indication whether Sanchez sent messages around the time of the accident or not.

The only way to guarantee the ban will be followed is to bar cell phones and messaging devices.  But in the event of communication system failure a Cellphone may serve as a good back up.  I know having a cellphone has saved my hide a time or two.  There are other security issues that have been addressed over time such as the Columbine Shootings and other emergency situations.  In a decision public safety should be the number 1 priority.  This will be interesting to watch to see how other industry and businesses react.

Engineer in Deadly LA Train Crash Was Texting

From the Washington Post

Less than a week after one of the worst train accidents in recent U.S. history, California officials today issued a temporary order banning train operators from using cell phones on duty.

Federal transportation authorities say the engineer of a Southern California commuter train who ran a red light and slammed into a freight train last Friday — killing 25 people and injuring more than 130 others — was text-messaging on his cell phone. The engineer, Robert Sanchez, who died in the crash, never hit his brakes. [Ed. note: Corrected from original post that identified Sanchez as the conductor.]

Officials say they are investigating a report from a TV station, CBS2, that two 14-year-old boys exchanged messages with the engineer moments before the accident.

Today, the California Public Utilities Commission unanimously passed an emergency order to ban the use of cell phones and other personal electronic devices while operating a train.

The National Transportation Safety Board in Washington said today that “records … indicate that the engineer had sent and received text messages on the day of the accident, including some while he was on duty.”

Federal investigators also are looking into whether Sanchez’s back-to-back, split-shift workdays on the Metrolink commuter system, which began before dawn and ended at 9 p.m., could have played a role in the crash.

Commuting is too hard

April 21st, 2008 2 comments

You know commuting is too hard when you need a helicopter. Today I received the greatest marketing e-mail from Delta Airlines.

Hello Mr. Estes,

Faster just became easier.

You can now book US Helicopter rides—which provide an eight-minute trip between John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Manhattan—via delta.com, our Reservation phone lines and our other ticketing options.

Book your ‘copter ride today for only $159*, or it’s complimentary if you purchase an eligible BusinessElite® ticket. And as a SkyMiles® member, you can earn 500 miles for each booking. (*Additional taxes/fees/restrictions apply. See below for details.)

Then, hop on one of the many weekday flights between JFK’s Terminal 3 and the Downtown Manhattan Heliport at Wall Street (JRB) or the Midtown East 34th Street Heliport (TSS). When traveling to JFK from Manhattan, pick up your boarding pass and check your bags at the heliport. There’s also TSA screening there, so you can skip the airport lines.

Visit delta.com for all your travel needs—near and far. Take advantage of our Best Fare Guarantee and book your next flight (while avoiding up to $25 in booking fees!). You also can reserve hotel rooms or car rentals and sign up for real-time flight information. Then visit our Delta Blog to see “under the wing” and behind the scenes as we share stories on ideas, changes and our people.


Here is a screen shot of the e-mail too

What do you think? Would you do it?