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Railroad Liability - What is It?


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In the days of wagons and travel by horseback, we wanted more! More power, more speed and more options for shipping. The railroad heard our pleas and in less than two-hundred years, we now have more.

More rails crisscrossing the country, more passengers travelling than was foreseen at speeds never before imagined and more victims than was expected.

Railroad liability issues grew accordingly with problems related to warning signs and alerts to pedestrians and other traffic unfamiliar with the rapid growth. More power and speed brought more danger as well.

Today Amtrak, subways and jets are common options, very different from traveling across the lands in a wagon. Respectively tragedy occurs where many victims were injured at one time and once again, we want more.

We want more safety, more regulations and more awareness for prevention sake. The focus on public transport systems was centered around service capabilities more than safety issues and the potential for disaster was overlooked in favor of profit.

The United States Department of Transportation came into existence in 1966 after ninety-two years of society demanding more. The USDOT regulates performance, accountability and enforces law regarding public safety. The goal is to make transportation more economical, more competent, more expeditious, and more socially responsible; once again, we have more.

Those who answered the call for more and at a considerable profit I might add, found themselves in an unforeseen situation. The need for liability insurance coverage was a financial decision to prevent bankruptcy and soon became a law to ensure victims would be compensated regardless of company status. We still have more-but the cost increases almost daily.

Railroad liability is strictly governed because hazardous materials, perishable items and passengers are the most common freight. In addition, school buses, pedestrians and regular traffic must cross the rails frequently creating more potential for accidents. Airways, railroad and trucking regulations made a difference but other considerations soon became known.

Industry growth was a direct result of faster and more powerful transportation options; the possibility for large shipments of manufactured goods increased productivity and created jobs that did not exist before this capability became common. Once again, the need for more became obvious.

Fumes, oil-spills and noise affected our health and we wanted more and better options as well as compensation for damages that progress brought. Terrorist learned to use our progress against us and the need for 24 hour, 7 days per week regulation enforcement became necessary.

The word ‘more’ is the language of growth and the more growth we accomplish the more we need to accomplish to maintain the life-style we created. Airways and railroad liability have become major issues as we struggle with progress created by the demands for more.

Today we have learned to use foresight in answering the demands for more, regulations are already in place to smooth transitions of growth and there seems to be no limit to potential growth, as we still want more.

Ian Pennington is an accomplished niche website developer and author. To learn more about Railroad Liability , please visit History of Railroads for current articles and discussions.


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