CONDUCTOR NEGLIGENCERepresenting the Victims of Train Accidents Caused by Negligence
Train Accidents Caused by Conductor Negligence
In North America, train conductors have a number of important duties and responsibilities. The conductor is the individual who manages the crew, oversees any cargo, helps passengers, collects their fares, and ensures compliance with safety regulations. Essentially, any duty that doesn’t have to do with the movement of the train itself—that’s the engineer’s job—is the conductor’s role.
However, the conductor is still a part of the train’s movement and operation.
Conductors sometimes assist with testing brakes, will signal an engineer to stop or start the train, keeps a log of the train’s activity, and makes sure that the train remains on schedule.
Most importantly, they direct communications between the railroad and the engineer on the train (similar to a co-pilot on a plane communicating with air traffic control). Their job is to remain alert to any conditions that affect train movement, like trains coming from the opposite direction.
What Happens When Conductors Are Negligent
Ultimately, the conductor is responsible for the safety of the workers and passengers on the train. Their failure to enforce or ensure safety compliance could lead to severe and lasting injuries to everyone aboard the train. Their job is to always be alert and aware of approaching hazards and alert the conductor of any issues. Their failure to do so could be deadly.
In 2008, a train in Chatsworth, CA missed the alert for oncoming rail traffic and struck a freight train. The crash killed 25 people. The party found responsible was the engineer—who was texting when the alert was missed.
This is why even having a phone on hand is not allowed for rail workers.
Conductors need to be aware of everything the engineer needs to know. If conductors fail in their duty, the stakes are high—they’re responsible for over 100,000 of metal and industrial material traveling in excess of 50 mph.
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