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Subsidize Safety With Seat Belts

April 26, 2002

Re "2 Die, Hundreds Hurt as Trains Crash Head-On," April 24: Automobiles, trucks and airplanes have seat belts. Why don't trains and buses (especially school buses)? How many of the dead and injured in Placentia would have suffered less if they had been wearing seat belts? Beyond the physical and emotional loss, consider the cost to Metrolink of all these insurance claims.

Ed Erskine

Woodland Hills

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Why isn't there a federal system of rail traffic control as there is for air traffic? Shouldn't train engineers be able to speak directly with each other as well as with dispatchers or controllers? The system of block signals is at least a century old. Surely we can do something better than that. For example, very inexpensive GPS satellite technology could be used to determine the exact location of every train in the country. Perhaps if the driver of the commuter train had known that the freight train was on the same track, and had the two drivers been in communication with each other, the accident could have been avoided.

Charles E. Hendrix

Pacific Palisades

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