Serious thought needs to be done for railroad safety

Sunday’s crash of an Amtrak train near Philadelphia brought to 20 the number of serious railroad accidents in the United States during the past year. Two people died and scores were injured in the weekend accident.

A substantial number of the rail accidents during the past 12 months – eight, by our count – involved vehicles on the tracks. The Amtrak crash Sunday was caused by a construction backhoe left on the tracks.

It is impossible to eliminate stupidity by regulations, of course. People will continue to drive their cars and trucks onto railroad tracks at the wrong time no matter what government or railroads do.

Still, more thought should be given to what, if anything, can be done to prevent such accidents. Better warning indicators for motorists have been suggested and are worth considering as a way to save lives.