GPS At Fault? Train Strikes Car After Driver Turns On Track

Topics relating to the operation of the P&W Railroad, which is a subsidiary of Genesee and Wyoming. Regional freight railroad based in Worcester and operating in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York.
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GPS At Fault? Train Strikes Car After Driver Turns On Track

Postby Jeff Smith » Thu Sep 29, 2011 11:37 am

http://www.woonsocketcall.com/node/3535

“His GPS said take the next right, so he took the next right, which turned out to be the railroad tracks,” said Jalette. “Verry Street is the first right after the railroad tracks.”
...
“I think we've gotta blame GPS on this one,” Jalette said.


http://coventry.patch.com/articles/cove ... woonsocket

At the intersection with Fairmount Street, they misinterpreted instructions to take a right hand turn onto Verry Street, landing on the tracks.

Moments after the pair realized they were stuck, the arms on River Street began to lower, warning of the approaching train. Hanlon and Trudeau first tried to push the vehicle, then jumped out of the way as the train arrived. Neither was injured in the incident, though Hanlon's car was destroyed in the resulting crash.


Okay, seriously? The GPS is at fault?

Granted, it's dark. Granted, the driver may be unfamiliar with the area. But I seriously doubt that visibility was so poor that the driver could not see they were turning onto a railroad, and not a street. Did the warning gates, lights, and cross-bucks not give it away?

I love my GPS, but I certainly don't rely on it when it tells me to turn onto a dirt road, a non-existent road, a railbed, or into a lake.

Not to mention, the driver had a "co-pilot".

What a couple of maroons.
Next stop, Willoughby
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Re: GPS At Fault? Train Strikes Car After Driver Turns On Tr

Postby MEC407 » Thu Sep 29, 2011 5:46 pm

Jalette said Hanlon wasn't cited for any motor vehicle infraction. It's not Hanlon's fault if his GPS didn't know the next right was a stretch of train tracks.

“I think we've gotta blame GPS on this one,” Jalette said.


Um, no, we don't gotta blame the GPS. We gotta blame the person behind the wheel. Frankly I'm very surprised and disappointed to see a police officer say such a thing.

How is it not the driver's fault? I'm certain that the GPS didn't say "Please drive onto the railroad tracks." The GPS told him to turn right, and any competent/qualified driver would have known that "turn right" means "turn right onto the next STREET."

If the street had been barricaded with a sign that said "ROAD CLOSED DUE TO WASHOUT," would the driver just plow through the sign and end up in the drink, because that's what the GPS told him to do?

If he was halfway across a long suspension bridge, and the GPS said "Turn right," would he wait until he got to the other end of the bridge, or would he immediately "turn right" and plunge into the river?

If your GPS tells you to make a turn, it's still your job to be the driver and to decide whether making that turn is a good idea or a bad idea, just as you would if you had a passenger with a roadmap giving you directions. This afternoon I was using my GPS and it told me to turn left, but I couldn't do that because the road had recently been rebuilt with a raised median to prevent left turns. I suppose some people -- like the driver in this ridiculous incident -- would have just driven up over the median. "Sorry officer, my GPS made me do it." "OK kid, no big deal... it wasn't your fault."

Unbelievable.
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Re: GPS At Fault? Train Strikes Car After Driver Turns On Tr

Postby tj48 » Wed Oct 19, 2011 8:02 am

As someone once told me "you can't fix stupid".
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Re: GPS At Fault? Train Strikes Car After Driver Turns On Tr

Postby MEC407 » Thu Feb 20, 2014 12:54 pm

It happened again. Another driver turned onto P&W tracks and had his car destroyed, "because his GPS told him to do it."

From NECN:

NECN wrote:According to Webster, Mass. police, there was an accident involving a train and a car at Main Street and Davis Street around 9:30 a.m. Thursday morning.

Webster Police and fire officials cleared the scene.

A witness, who works for the train company Providence and Worcester Railroad, says the driver turned onto the tracks because his GPS told him to do so. His car became stranded on the tracks, but he was able to get out of the vehicle before the train stuck.


Read the rest of the article at: http://www.necn.com/02/20/14/Police-Car ... edID=11106

Thanks to fogg1703 for the link.
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Re: GPS At Fault? Train Strikes Car After Driver Turns On Tr

Postby Watchman318 » Fri Feb 21, 2014 12:46 am

"[T]he driver turned onto the tracks because his GPS told him to do so." Sorry, sounds too much like "the devil made me do it." Hey, I'm just sayin'.

I think it was just a few years ago somebody turned onto a track somewhere in Maine because they saw snowmobile marks in the snow on the RoW, and thought it must be a road. I don't think that driver's car got smacked by a train, though.

"Don't pay no never-mind to those signposts with the Image on 'em." :rolleyes:
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Re: GPS At Fault? Train Strikes Car After Driver Turns On Tr

Postby Freddy » Fri Feb 21, 2014 10:43 am

Sounds like you yankee boys do a good job when ya'll grow things.
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Re: GPS At Fault? Train Strikes Car After Driver Turns On Tr

Postby MEC407 » Fri Feb 28, 2014 8:08 pm

Yankee boys, eh? Someone from Florida just did the same thing:

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/news/ ... ate/nd3Jb/
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Re: GPS At Fault? Train Strikes Car After Driver Turns On Tr

Postby Freddy » Sat Mar 01, 2014 10:58 am

Wow, he must be from wayyyyy down south cause that's a southern accent I've never heard before. :wink:
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Re: GPS At Fault? Train Strikes Car After Driver Turns On Tr

Postby BandA » Sun Mar 02, 2014 12:57 am

The railroads should be required to add, at all grade crossings, normally-closed gates across the railroad tracks to prevent drivers from entering the track. ;) Also ADA accessible cabs should be mandated on all engines. ;)
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Re: GPS At Fault? Train Strikes Car After Driver Turns On Tr

Postby rscott417 » Sun Mar 09, 2014 6:57 am

GPS's on a killing spree, sounds like a Stephen King book.
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