Safety on the Tracks: Brightline killed four, injured one, and clamors for quiet

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The Brightline train is South Florida’s latest attempt to get public transportation up to snuff. The high-speed rail currently services West-Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale stations and is planning to extend service to Miami and Orlando. However, the whirlwind of a comfortable commute seems to be lacking in safety precautions. Since July of 2017, just six months ago, four people have been killed by the Brightline and one other was injured. Two of the deaths happened just this month, with less than a week to separate them. Melissa Lavell died on January 12, walking across the tracks when she was hit by an oncoming train. By January 18, Jeffrey King had also died by crossing the Brightline tracks on his bicycle.

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With so many accidents, it’s shocking that the company has passed their safety inspections without fail. It doesn’t seem that the safety measures are enough considering the ease with which the victims were able to evade them.

More shocking still is the fact that Brightline is working towards making train crossings into “quiet zones,” meaning that not only will they not be increasing safety protocols, they will also be removing the safety protocol of having train horns sound at crossings. That’s right, no more blaring horn to give warning when this high-speed train is racing to a railroad crossing at 70 MPH.

Government officials are questioning the reliability of the existing safety measures and how the train line’s expansion should continue. Senators Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson have raised their concerns and suggested a hold on further service from the new line.

Also concerning in this saga is the fact that Brightline has yet to expand to the two largest cities on its route and is aiming to have around 3 million passengers in the next few years. If we are already seeing such high fatality rates, how can we trust that they won’t skyrocket with the next expansions?

Signs and lights may be enough for the current safety protocol, but it can’t be enough moving forward. Especially if Brightline succeeds in creating quiet zones that will further diminish people’s awareness of the oncoming train.

Trains can pose a serious danger to pedestrians and vehicles on the road. A train company that fails to provide the required safety signage they can be found negligent and therefore liable for any injury or accidental death that may occur because of their train. Thus far Brightline has avoided liability for the previous deaths, but without significant improvements to their safety protocol they may not be able to avoid it much longer.

If you have found that you or a family member may require a seasoned Miami personal injury attorney for a train accident, Aigen Injury Law, is here to assist you. We understand that in this moment, especially when there is a death or an injured individual, that litigation may not be on your mind. However, your lawyer at Aigen Injury Law will be available to guide you, protect your rights, answer all your questions, and fight to ensure that you maximize your recovery against all responsible parties.

Please do not hesitate to submit an online FREE CASE REVIEW. At Aigen Injury Law, an experienced lawyer is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week working relentlessly on behalf of victims who suffer from all types of accidents. We offer a free consultation for your personal injury case and there is no fee unless we recover for you.