Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Poor AP Reporting of Fatal Train Accident

Came across an AP story in the PD&D Design Daily email that stated the train engineer who drove his passenger train into a freight train ( sent 43 text messages from the cab that day and spent ample time talking on his cell phone. I was more bothered by the AP reporter, per this letter I sent to the editor of PD&D:

David, I know it's an AP story so this complaint really is with AP's reporting but since I found it via PD&D Design Daily, I'll state it for you (and your readers if you like): the AP reporter quoted only one person in the piece, a union representative who - what a surprise - wants two engineers on the payroll to perform the job of one engineer. Is there no one anywhere in the world the reporter could have quoted to comment on whether that's a good idea? Now I'm not a trained engineer but I'm pretty sure talking on a cell phone and sending 43 text messages while driving a train increases the risk of a deadly collision or other accident. How odd the union representative neglected to comment on the engineer's performance or its potential impact on the accident. And why that wasn't the lead in the story may lead one to infer the AP reporter carries a union card.
Paul Entin

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