Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Pedro's Corner: Spanish Train Crash

Regarding the July 31 L.A. Times article on the Spanish train crash.  The driver was talking on the phone at the time.  So What?  Why wasn’t there a computer controlled speed limiter in charge of maximum speeds allowable (regardless of human intervention or non-intervention) overriding maximum speed for every inch of track.  That’s only 6.336 million inches (points of information) per 100 miles of track.  Such a job is well within the memory capabilities of the cheapest desktop computer.

What the article didn’t say about such a control device is that the management of the railroad hadn’t installed such an irrevocable guardian of public safety and, thus, blames the driver of the train.  As usual, when projects are not regulated and monitored, management proceeds unthinkingly and incautiously on the job.  I maintain that the irresponsible party in this tragedy is the railroad management and not the driver.  Just another case of blaming the worker while the boss get off Scott Free.

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