By: Allan M. Siegel
Following the tragic train accident in Philadelphia earlier this month,
Amtrak officials have announced that they will install video cameras to
record the actions of train engineers. The move comes as investigators
continue their search for what caused May 12th’s deadly derailment,
which resulted in 8 deaths and over 200 injuries.
Although Northeast Regional Train 188 was outfitted with a black box data
recorder and a camera focused on the track ahead - both of which investigators
are using to piece together what happened - neither forms of evidence
shed light on what took place inside the cab. They also fail to provide
information about the actions of train engineer Brendan Bostian. Bostian
experienced a head injury in the crash and has stated he cannot remember
what took place.
Here are some details about the cameras:
- Amtrak plans to install the cameras in 70 new Amtrak trains that will run
throughout the northeast region of the country, including trains traveling
between Boston, New York, and Washington, DC. Officials have stated most
of these new trains will be outfitted with the cameras before the end
of the year.
- Amtrak has yet to provide a timeline for outfitting its entire fleet with
cameras (Amtrak has roughly 300 locomotives across the country). Officials
said they will be creating a plan to install train cab cameras in remaining
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has been in support of
installing train cab cameras for some time. Following the 1996 Amtrak
derailment in Silver Spring, Maryland, which was caused by the negligence
of the crew - the NTSB made its first recommendation to require audio
recording devices in cabs. Our firm is very familiar with this case, and
successfully represented a client injured in the crash.
Although installing cameras is a step toward reducing risks and protecting
passengers, it is unfortunate that preventative measures like cameras
and Positive Train Control (PTC) are too often implemented after a tragedy
- or even multiple tragedies - occur. Nonetheless, our firm is hopeful
they will help eliminate preventable injuries and death.
As a firm with extensive experience handling
train accidents, Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. has been closely following
the Philadelphia Amtrak derailment and all developments. We are also available
to help victims and families who suffered harm in incident.
Contact us today to speak with attorney.