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Transportation Safety

March 5, 2009 | Robert J. Lopez and Dan Weikel
Widespread problems with enforcement of the nation's railroad safety rules and sharp differences over what can be done to prevent future accidents have been exposed by the investigation of last year's deadly Metrolink crash in Chatsworth. A long-embraced pillar of train safety -- "efficiency" field testing -- came under fire Wednesday in Washington, D.C., from the chairwoman of the National Transportation Safety Board panel probing the crash that killed 25 and injured 135.
January 10, 2009 | Steve Hymon
Embattled Metrolink Chief Executive David Solow kept his job Friday, despite a closed session in which board directors discussed his possible termination. Upon emerging from the 90-minute session, Solow told reporters, "There is no announcement," and declined to comment further. Solow has been under fire since Sept. 12, when a Metrolink train collided head-on with a Union Pacific freight train in Chatsworth, killing 25 people.
January 8, 2009 | Steve Hymon
Metrolink needs to improve monitoring of its employees, enhance its safety technology and do more to inform its board members about how the railroad works, according to a safety report on the railroad posted Wednesday on Metrolink's website. The major findings of the report were presented to the Metrolink Board of Directors in December. The report was written by a panel of industry experts whom Metrolink asked to review its rail operations after the Sept.
December 27, 2008 | Peter Spiegel
Five-year-old Khushi Kumari was heading home from school last week with her sister Radha when a speeding Blueline bus veered toward them at the side of the road. Witnesses said Radha was hit from behind and knocked into the air by the commuter bus. But Khushi was crushed under its giant tires. She died almost instantly. "That day it was the turn of my Khushi; tomorrow it could be anybody, it could be me, you or who knows who," said their mother, Suman Kumari, tears streaming down her cheeks.
November 25, 2008 | Robert J. Lopez and Rich Connell, Lopez and Connell are Times staff writers.
Metrolink officials said Monday that they have ordered engineers to slow down as they approach possible red lights, a new safety regulation that comes shortly after two trains collided in Rialto and two months after a fatal head-on crash in Chatsworth killed 25. Under the rule, which was put in place Friday, Metrolink trains must immediately slow to 40 mph or less when they are alerted that a light ahead may be red, the agency said.
September 30, 2008 | From the Associated Press
A groundbreaking rail safety reform bill cleared a key vote in the U.S. Senate on Monday, as lawmakers invoked the Sept. 12 Metrolink train collision that killed 25 people and injured 135. Senators voted 69 to 17 to take a final vote on the bill Wednesday. The measure requires more rest for railroad workers and technology that can stop a train in its tracks if it's headed for a collision. The House passed the bill last week, and the expected Senate approval would send the legislation to President Bush for his signature.
September 25, 2008 | Steve Hymon and Rich Connell, Times Staff Writers
Metrolink should add a second engineer to its locomotives, install anti-collision technology and place an additional video camera in the cab of its engines to monitor train drivers, according to a motion supported by several Los Angeles city and county officials. The improvements, however, are not being sought by Metrolink.
August 1, 2008 | P.J. Huffstutter and DeeDee Correll, Times Staff Writers
A year after the collapse of Minneapolis' Interstate 35W bridge, which killed 13 people and injured more than 100, the drive to improve the safety of the nation's bridges has faded amid waning public interest to fund such projects in a souring economy. "The push to repair bridges and our country's infrastructure has become a victim of the bad economy," said Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell, a Democrat who, along with California GOP Gov.
June 30, 2008 | Melissa Healy, Times Staff Writer
YOU KNOW the shot: Seen from above, the hero (or villain) is hurtling down the freeway, top down, one hand on the wheel and the other clutching a cellphone to his ear. It's Hollywood's image of how deals are made, dates are broken and gossip is shared, at 65 miles per hour. On Tuesday, that shot will be history. California motorists -- as well as those in Washington state, where a similar law was recently passed -- will be prohibited from talking on hand-held cellular phones while driving.
February 26, 2008 | Jennifer Oldham, Times Staff Writer
Federal officials are expected to announce today that they will install a $6-million warning system at LAX that dramatically reduced close calls on the ground in tests at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. At a news conference this afternoon, Robert A. Sturgell, acting FAA administrator, is expected to detail the agency's plan to install lights on one of the airport's four runways and at various taxiways on the north and south airfields. Testing is to begin early next year.
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