Safety redux

Picture of the scene on 6th & Davis, found on Twitter

As you’re probably aware, last night a 76 year old woman fell between two train cars at 6th and Davis as the train was coming in to the platform. She was responsive at the scene and was transported to OHSU, but later died from her injuries. Although some preliminary reports indicated that she had been pushed, it seems that what actually happened is that her cane went over the edge of the platform, got caught between the two cars, and she fell with it.

I wasn’t there last night so I didn’t see firsthand what happened, but it sounds like it was possible that she was standing/walking too close to the edge of the platform as the train came in. Of course no one deserves to die for making a mistake like that, but I couldn’t begin to tell you the number of people who are lucky they don’t end up in the news for the same reason she did.

Classic example

Or these people, in particular the one on the left

And just in case you’re thinking that those above pictures aren’t so bad because there’s no train in the picture so it’s not *that* unsafe, here are some pictures taken from a train:

Small child near the edge of the platform

More people standing on the tactile strip as a train approaches

The tactile strip on the edge of the platforms is there for a reason – painted white so that you can see it, and with a bumpy surface so you can feel it when you walk on it. SO STAND WELL BEHIND IT. Give me one good reason why you need to be standing on it, especially when a train is coming in. You’ll be able to board once the train stops, and if for whatever reason that train is too full to take on more passengers, isn’t it better to wait for the one behind it than risk falling under it?

Again, I don’t know what the situation was with this woman, and my condolences to her family (and the operator as well, I don’t know how he is doing). But this seemed like a good opportunity to post a safety reminder since the only reason why she made the news for this and the people in the above pictures didn’t is basically that they were luckier than her. Please be careful out there.

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5 responses to “Safety redux

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Safety redux | MAX FAQs -- Topsy.com

  2. We have reviewed the video and released the information below to the news media this afternoon. I thought perhaps you and your readers might be interested:

    While the investigation continues into Sandy Sullivan’s fall onto the MAX tracks at the NW 6th & Davis Street Station, TriMet has reviewed the platform video and it provides new information regarding the incident.

    About 9:15 p.m., Ms. Sullivan and her friend were standing about mid-platform when the train approached the station. There were no other riders near the two women and they were standing behind the tactile warning strip. As the first train is passing them, Ms. Sullivan reaches out with her left hand and touches the moving train. She is turned around and then falls between the gap between the train cars. Both Ms. Sullivan and her friend used canes, but contrary to early reports, the video does not show that the cane got stuck between the curb and the train.

    TriMet General Manager Neil McFarlane said “This tragic incident should serve as a reminder to all of us to be alert around moving trains. Even if you’re standing behind the tactile warning strip, it’s important to take an extra step back as a train enters a station. That extra step will help ensure your safety.”

    • Thank you for the updated information. The whole thing is very unfortunate. I wonder if there is a way to make it more clear that the tactile strips are stand-back zones, not just non-slip zones (based on a conversation I had on Twitter).

  3. Thanks for posting photos from the driver’s point of view. It does underscore the need for caution on the platforms. I’ve ridden the MAX many times, and it always makes me nervous to see people standing on the warning strip.

    • Thanks for your comment – people standing on the edge of the platforms make operators nervous too. I don’t know if they just don’t realize how unsafe that is. No one wants to see something like this happen and I don’t think people realize how dangerous it would be if they simply lost their balance while standing too close.

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