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Colorado Police Detain Suspect, Confine to Squad car on RR Tracks, Train Hits Locked

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Posted by Convicted One on Wednesday, September 21, 2022 11:25 AM

In terms of "situational awareness", yeah definitely.  As the one source stated, as soon as the officer had the suspect secure in his vehicle, the vehicle should have been moved from the tracks before being left unattended.

At that point the suspect was as vullnerable as a child in it's parent's care and custody.

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Posted by Convicted One on Wednesday, September 21, 2022 12:26 PM

Could be just the result of heightened awareness, but I've been seeing the following ad on TV a lot the past few days.  Looks like a fairly new ad

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LG9O248BaaI

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Wednesday, September 21, 2022 1:08 PM

The cop parked on a railroad track. Then put a perp in said car. 100% on the cop.

Still in training.


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Posted by mudchicken on Wednesday, September 21, 2022 2:15 PM
(1) Coming from the least credible of the local media news outlets, it figures....If the newsworker had been a little more on the ball, he/she would have noted that all of the accident reports (including the injuries and fatals) had the offending vehicles driving into the side of the trains.
(2) The local media differs on whether it was CR-34 or CR-38, ... two miles apart
 

(3) It's Fort Lupton with the investigation that is in its cross-hairs. (Community about 12-13 miles south) Not even sure Platteville/Gilcrest has a town marshal or police force right now. Multiple towns can't find anyone qualified to hire for what they can offer as salary. (staff shortage) 

Ulrich
York1

Crossing with no lights, signals, or gates.

 

 

 

 

But clearly visible tracks and a crossbuck. Most every crossing has a history. Maybe that crossing could and should be improved, but that has no bearing on this event. 

 

Mudchicken Nothing is worth taking the risk of losing a life over. Come home tonight in the same condition that you left home this morning in. Safety begins with ME.... cinscocom-west
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Posted by Euclid on Wednesday, September 21, 2022 7:05 PM

York1

Crossing with no lights, signals, or gates.

 

I have noticed in various news reports of grade crossing collisions that if it was a “passive crossing” with the non-automatic, fixed warning signs and unlit crossbucks; the reporters make a point of mentioning this as though it were a safety deficiency at the crossing where the collision occurred.
 
And so of course, it does imply that the driver was less to blame than would have been the case had the crossing had “active protection,” which is safer than passive protection. 
 
They are correct in making that point because drivers using passive crossings have less protection that those using active crossings. 
 
However, despite this fact, the less safe passive crossings are prioritized for use at the statistically, relatively less dangerous crossings.  For this purpose, less dangerous, is defined as crossings with slower and/or less frequent train passage.
 
So you have less effective protection systems for less dangerous crossings.  But this amounts to collectivizing crossing safety in that every driver is given the right to use all crossings even though some are safer than others.  Incidentally, that would also be the case even if all crossings had the same active protection systems and the same roadway/crossing design; but still had variations in train speed, and frequency, also variations in road speed limit.   
 
So, some might argue that this is an unfair way to distribute grade crossing safety protection.  But the counterargument is that this is all we can afford as a motoring public sector.    
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Posted by Convicted One on Wednesday, September 21, 2022 7:36 PM

Euclid
 But this amounts to collectivizing crossing safety in that every driver is given the right to use all crossings even though some are safer than others.  Incidentally, that would also be the case even if all crossings had the same active protection systems and the same roadway/crossing design; but still had variations in train speed, and frequency, also variations in road speed limit.

 

Reader comments at the Denver Post site pertaining to this story, posed  interesting questions.  Why the secrecy as to the identity of the officer?

Which got me to thinking. If the story was one of an average citizen leaving their car  with a dependent occupant inside,  and subsequently  hit with injuries.  That person's face would be all over the media. They would be front page  punching bags.

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Posted by jeffhergert on Wednesday, September 21, 2022 8:54 PM

Whether the crossing has active or passive warnings becomes irrevelant WHEN YOU PARK ON THE TRACKS!

Jeff

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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, September 21, 2022 10:06 PM

jeffhergert
Whether the crossing has active or passive warnings becomes irrevelant WHEN YOU PARK ON THE TRACKS!

Jeff

To the extent that the cop parked his car on the tracks and the placed the suspect in the car - Attempted Murder should be the charge.

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Posted by Murphy Siding on Wednesday, September 21, 2022 10:09 PM

BaltACD

 

 
jeffhergert
Whether the crossing has active or passive warnings becomes irrevelant WHEN YOU PARK ON THE TRACKS!

Jeff

 

To the extent that the cop parked his car on the tracks and the placed the suspect in the car - Attempted Murder should be the charge.

 

I kinda expect the next step to be that she gets a lawyer and sues for a bazillion dollars. Of course, you have to find a phonebook first.

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Posted by Murphy Siding on Wednesday, September 21, 2022 10:11 PM

Doesn't every law enforcement office have to at least watch some Operation Lifesaver videos as part of their training?

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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, September 21, 2022 10:32 PM

Murphy Siding
Doesn't every law enforcement office have to at least watch some Operation Lifesaver videos as part of their training?

From the videos that get played in the media - it would appear that only thing police are trained on is how to strongarm and force their will upon a 'suspect' and to shoot their firearm.  Recent cases would indicate that some haven't been train sufficiently to distinguish using a taser vs. a firearm in certain situations.  Operation Livesaver, doubt the police have heard of it.

 

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, September 21, 2022 10:55 PM

Euclid

 

 
York1

Crossing with no lights, signals, or gates.

 

 

 

I have noticed in various news reports of grade crossing collisions that if it was a “passive crossing” with the non-automatic, fixed warning signs and unlit crossbucks; the reporters make a point of mentioning this as though it were a safety deficiency at the crossing where the collision occurred.
 
And so of course, it does imply that the driver was less to blame than would have been the case had the crossing had “active protection,” which is safer than passive protection. 
 
They are correct in making that point because drivers using passive crossings have less protection that those using active crossings. 
 
However, despite this fact, the less safe passive crossings are prioritized for use at the statistically, relatively less dangerous crossings.  For this purpose, less dangerous, is defined as crossings with slower and/or less frequent train passage.
 
So you have less effective protection systems for less dangerous crossings.  But this amounts to collectivizing crossing safety in that every driver is given the right to use all crossings even though some are safer than others.  Incidentally, that would also be the case even if all crossings had the same active protection systems and the same roadway/crossing design; but still had variations in train speed, and frequency, also variations in road speed limit.   
 
So, some might argue that this is an unfair way to distribute grade crossing safety protection.  But the counterargument is that this is all we can afford as a motoring public sector.    
 

I live not far from the Northeast Corridor just north of Baltimore near the Susquehanna River.

The CSX trackage here has lots of grade crossings at various levels of protection depending on auto traffic volume and sight lines.

Including a fair number of passive crossings at rural roads and private driveways.

Trains travel pretty fast a lot of the time, I have clocked many going 50-60 mph as the tracks are parallel to, and clearly visible from US40 in many places. They blast right thru downtown Aberdeen, MD at grade, crossing the main drag thru the middle of town - there are lights and gates..... and schools, and pedestrians, and cyclists......

Where does this come from? This idea that drivers bear little or no responsiblity here and the railroad and the government MUST protect them?

Sure, it is socially and economicly sensible to prevent/minimize these events.

On the other side of the same town, there are overpasses over/under the AMTRAK (former PRR) mainline. There are no grade crossings. Those trains go up to 88 mph. That right of way is fenced in places, but not everywhere. 

Those tracks and the overpasses actually create a barrier that socially and economicly divides that town....

There are no good solutions to the issues in this area without spending rediculus sums of money.

BUT, guess what? We don't have any issues. Grade crossing crashes, people getting hit on the tracks, people going around the gates, are all pretty rare here.

And, political correctness aside, not all the residents are rocket scientists....

If you go around the gates, ignore the flashing lights, fail to stop, look and listen, well, maybe Darwin was on to something?

As for this incident, maybe we need higher standards as to who we give a badge, a gun, and a high performance car?

Sheldon

 

 

    

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Posted by tree68 on Thursday, September 22, 2022 7:02 AM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
As for this incident, maybe we need higher standards as to who we give a badge, a gun, and a high performance car?

When my father first became a reserve police officer in the 1950's, he bought his own gun and uniform, and the training was OJT.  Being a small town, the patrol car was hardly high performance.

Nowadays, most places require at least a police academy (often a regional thing).  Screening varies - the smaller the town, the less that probably goes on.  Still, the bullies do exist.  

That said, today's police officer is expected to not only deal with speeders and fights, but has to become a psychologist, a mediator, and a host of other talents nobody thought of fifty years ago.

Not everyone is cut out for that, and some, after exposure, some get a little jaded.  When you're on your fifth idiot for the shift, well...

Sure, they should be professional, and the vast majority are, but there are times even the most professional person can get a little frustrated.

Something else has changed - When Dad wore a badge, dealing with the local ne'er-do-well was rather like dealing with Otis (Andy Griffith show).  They knew they were misbehaving, and it was "yes, sir," "no, sir."  That is no longer the case.  

 

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Thursday, September 22, 2022 7:05 AM

tree68

 

 
ATLANTIC CENTRAL
As for this incident, maybe we need higher standards as to who we give a badge, a gun, and a high performance car?

 

When my father first became a reserve police officer in the 1950's, he bought his own gun and uniform, and the training was OJT.  Being a small town, the patrol car was hardly high performance.

Nowadays, most places require at least a police academy (often a regional thing).  Screening varies - the smaller the town, the less that probably goes on.  Still, the bullies do exist.  

That said, today's police officer is expected to not only deal with speeders and fights, but has to become a psychologist, a mediator, and a host of other talents nobody thought of fifty years ago.

Not everyone is cut out for that, and some, after exposure, some get a little jaded.  When you're on your fifth idiot for the shift, well...

Sure, they should be professional, and the vast majority are, but there are times even the most professional person can get a little frustrated.

Something else has changed - When Dad wore a badge, dealing with the local ne'er-do-well was rather like dealing with Otis (Andy Griffith show).  They knew they were misbehaving, and it was "yes, sir," "no, sir."  That is no longer the case.  

 

 

Agreed, it is a tough job that requires the right kind of person.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, September 22, 2022 7:45 AM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
...

Agreed, it is a tough job that requires the right kind of person.

Sheldon

But seems to attract the wrong kind of person.

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Posted by Euclid on Thursday, September 22, 2022 8:11 AM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
Where does this come from? This idea that drivers bear little or no responsiblity here and the railroad and the government MUST protect them?

I don’t believe that such an idea exists.  I have never heard it expressed.  But I have heard the idea that drivers are deprived of some degree of protection with crossings protected only by crossbucks and sometimes stop or yield signs; as opposed to crossings with automatic flashing red lights and automatic gates. 
 
This is often heard in news coverage of crossing collisions at the less protected class of crossings known as “Passive” crossings.  It was heard often in the news coverage of the recent collision of an Amtrak train with the dump truck in Menden, MO. a few months ago.  It is typically expressed as a lament that such passive crossings lack full protection, and this is implied to be part of the cause of the collision. 
 
Of course, this does not actually excuse the driver from the requirement to yield at both types of crossings.  However, when you add automatic safety protection features to grade crossings, drivers tend to lower their wariness at those crossings. 
 
I believe this lowered wariness compromises driver attention at the fully protected (“active”) crossings, but the automatic protection works for the driver despite the lowered attention that it causes. 
 
However, at passive crossings, I believe the driver often applies the same compromised attention which results in failures to yield to stop signs, yield signs, or crossbucks which mean the same as a yield sign. And here there is no automatic protection to take over for the driver.  The driver simply makes the mistake of assuming that the automatic protection at “active” crossings is there for them at both types of crossings.   After all, if a driver encounters a crossing that has no automatic protection, and yet no train is approaching, they have no way of knowing that the automatic protection is not there.  In my opinion, this is a hidden danger of passive crossings.    
 
Of course this has nothing to do with the collision in this thread, but the point was brought up here, so I responded to it.
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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Thursday, September 22, 2022 11:53 AM

Euclid

 

 
ATLANTIC CENTRAL
Where does this come from? This idea that drivers bear little or no responsiblity here and the railroad and the government MUST protect them?

 

I don’t believe that such an idea exists.  I have never heard it expressed.  But I have heard the idea that drivers are deprived of some degree of protection with crossings protected only by crossbucks and sometimes stop or yield signs; as opposed to crossings with automatic flashing red lights and automatic gates. 
 
This is often heard in news coverage of crossing collisions at the less protected class of crossings known as “Passive” crossings.  It was heard often in the news coverage of the recent collision of an Amtrak train with the dump truck in Menden, MO. a few months ago.  It is typically expressed as a lament that such passive crossings lack full protection, and this is implied to be part of the cause of the collision. 
 
Of course, this does not actually excuse the driver from the requirement to yield at both types of crossings.  However, when you add automatic safety protection features to grade crossings, drivers tend to lower their wariness at those crossings. 
 
I believe this lowered wariness compromises driver attention at the fully protected (“active”) crossings, but the automatic protection works for the driver despite the lowered attention that it causes. 
 
However, at passive crossings, I believe the driver often applies the same compromised attention which results in failures to yield to stop signs, yield signs, or crossbucks which mean the same as a yield sign. And here there is no automatic protection to take over for the driver.  The driver simply makes the mistake of assuming that the automatic protection at “active” crossings is there for them at both types of crossings.   After all, if a driver encounters a crossing that has no automatic protection, and yet no train is approaching, they have no way of knowing that the automatic protection is not there.  In my opinion, this is a hidden danger of passive crossings.    
 
Of course this has nothing to do with the collision in this thread, but the point was brought up here, so I responded to it.
 

Based on that logic about driver psychology, the more traffic lights we put at intersections the more people will run the remaining stop signs?

If you are not smart enough, or paying attention enough, to tell the difference between a railroad crossing with lights and gates vs one with no lights or gates, then you need to put down the phone, coffee, food, makeup, turn the radio off and drive the car.......

Welcome to the nanny state......

And, getting out of your police cruiser with it stopped on the tracks fails the "common sense" test - let alone putting a suspect in the vehicle.

Sheldon

 

    

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Posted by Convicted One on Thursday, September 22, 2022 1:30 PM

mudchicken
(1)IIf the newsworker had been a little more on the ball, he/she would have noted that all of the accident reports (including the injuries and fatals) had the offending vehicles driving into the side of the trains.

I think at first the point you were making here flew over my head.  But now see how your line of thinking keys into the discussion....and it's a good point. 

Those  (in the media) observing that the absence of advanced protection devices plays a role in the overall safety of any particular crossing, most likely are confusing the issue with those instances where trains were stopped at night across roadways having primitive protection (the evil black tank car incidents)....and they are just making a false parallel.  They see a tragedy coupled with a dark crossing and fail to distinguish the differing circumstances.

Still, it wouldn't surprise me to see the victim's counsel try to push this angle, just trying to get another deep pocket into the arena. Regardless of merit.

 

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Posted by Convicted One on Thursday, September 22, 2022 1:35 PM

tree68
Something else has changed - When Dad wore a badge, dealing with the local ne'er-do-well was rather like dealing with Otis (Andy Griffith show).  They knew they were misbehaving, and it was "yes, sir," "no, sir."  That is no longer the case.  

Meanwhile the 'Barney Fife Academy' keeps cranking out cadets in an endless line Clown

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Posted by abdkl on Thursday, September 22, 2022 2:27 PM

Euclid
So a desperate rescue attempt would have been unacceptably “outside the box.”



There should NEVER have been a NEED for a desperate rescue attempt [period]

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, September 23, 2022 10:11 AM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
The CSX trackage here has lots of grade crossings at various levels of protection depending on auto traffic volume and sight lines. Including a fair number of passive crossings at rural roads and private driveways.

To put this simply: you reap what you sow.

Amtrak, through a combination of post-Chase handwringing and predatory electricity pricing, ran fast freight off the ex-PRR line so expensively and carefully grade-separated for the Metroliner project.  Shoved it onto 'an alternative' Lehigh Line and let 'the railroads' handle the difficulties.  Even with Chinese viaduct and TLM approaches, it would be expensive to eliminate all the grade crossings even if there were Federal-scale cost-effective funding means to accomplish it... and you'd then have two, not one, obtrusive elevated railroad structures through all those areas.

According to the Government, four-quadrant gates with 'appropriate' signaling are fine up to 110mph; they might even qualify for quiet zones.  But you better armor those gates and make sure they're long enough, because plenty of people will surely be trying both...

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Posted by rdamon on Friday, September 23, 2022 10:55 AM

Overmod

According to the Government, four-quadrant gates with 'appropriate' signaling are fine up to 110mph; they might even qualify for quiet zones.  But you better armor those gates and make sure they're long enough, because plenty of people will surely be trying both...

While following the Brightline expansion. I was looking for the time the gates were supposed to be lowered before the train passed.  I saw a CFR that referenced less than 20 secs would be considered a failure.  

20 secs equates to ~3227 ft /0.61 mi

This looks similar to what they had on the MoPac line near my house for 79MPH.

 

is 20 Seconds standard?

 

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Posted by adkrr64 on Friday, September 23, 2022 11:34 AM

rdamon
is 20 Seconds standard?

I believe so. Sometimes a crossing gets a bulletin order instruction that it is on "island circuit only", which means the train has to slowly creep up to the crossing until it activates the island circuit, at which point the lights and gates start to come down, and then we are not supposed to occupy the crossing until 20 seconds after that.

@rdamon - what exactly is that image in your avatar?

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Friday, September 23, 2022 12:07 PM

adkrr64
 
rdamon
is 20 Seconds standard?

 

I believe so. Sometimes a crossing gets a bulletin order instruction that it is on "island circuit only", which means the train has to slowly creep up to the crossing until it activates the island circuit, at which point the lights and gates start to come down, and then we are not supposed to occupy the crossing until 20 seconds after that.

 
That's the arrangement at several locations on the Illinois Central South Chicago branch.  Most of the stations are adjacent to a grade crossing so this allows the grade crossing to be clear while the train is stopped at the station.
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Posted by rdamon on Friday, September 23, 2022 2:02 PM

adkrr64

 

@rdamon - what exactly is that image in your avatar?

 

 
It is a photo I took out the window of a MD-11 on approach to LAX several years ago. :)
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Posted by tree68 on Friday, September 23, 2022 2:19 PM

rdamon
is 20 Seconds standard?

Horn sounding is 20 seconds or a quarter mile, essentially whichever is shorter.  I suppose that beyond a quarter mile, motorists wouldn't hear the horn anyhow.

The challenge for the railroad is setting the distance for crossings that use an absolute fixed sensing of occupancy (circuit).  If there is a wide disparity between the fastest and slowest trains, you end up with people in their cars sitting for an extended period of time - which tends to encourage driving around the gates.

Such crossings these days will usually have circuits which sense the oncoming train's speed and activate the crossing protection accordingly.  And if a train stops on the circuit, the gates will lift until the train starts moving again.

I've heard of attempts to install raising bollards at the crossings.  Anyone trying to cross after they're up is in for a rude awakening, and an abrupt stop.  They would have to be maintenance headaches, though, especially in the northern climes.

LarryWhistling
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Posted by mudchicken on Friday, September 23, 2022 2:25 PM
Mudchicken Nothing is worth taking the risk of losing a life over. Come home tonight in the same condition that you left home this morning in. Safety begins with ME.... cinscocom-west
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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Friday, September 23, 2022 2:57 PM

Holy crow. That train was flying! I hope that woman is not permanently injured, but I imagine she is. If that cop isn't fired it will be a travesty. And the police force will probably get sued big time.

Negligence or stupidity, take your pick. Or choose both.

Still in training.


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Posted by BaltACD on Friday, September 23, 2022 4:02 PM

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

              

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Posted by mudchicken on Friday, September 23, 2022 6:27 PM

60 MPH district speed.

Mudchicken Nothing is worth taking the risk of losing a life over. Come home tonight in the same condition that you left home this morning in. Safety begins with ME.... cinscocom-west

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