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Safety first

February 08, 2009

Re "Your money or your life," Opinion, Feb. 1

Thank you for a clear and unbiased explanation of the controversy around cost-benefit analysis. Government should undertake analysis of cost versus risk in deciding how to spend tax dollars for public safety. But I think where many of us have a problem is in the attempt to quantify the unquantifiable.

For example, I suspect Metrolink used some type of cost-benefit analysis in deciding not to install a costly crash-avoidance system in its trains. But it appears unlikely that it quantified the risk of an engineer text-messaging while at the controls.

The deaths of people who probably never suspected they were on a public rail system without a crash-avoidance system are unacceptable. Very high value should be placed on public expectation of safety where passengers put their faith in systems beyond their control.

Carl Allender

Glendale

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