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Common sense is clearly not so common!

Discussion in 'Personal' started by nomad, Jul 17, 2019.

  1. nomad

    nomad Star commenter


    Does it really need blatant signage to tell someone not to stick their silly head out of a train window?

    And why is the train company responsible to the tune of over a million pounds?

    Surely Darwin Award candidates should be legally responsible for their own actions!
  2. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    Sorry Nomes, Just started a thread about the same thing!
    nomad likes this.
  3. Marshall

    Marshall Star commenter

    Common sense versus intelligence? The two very often don't go together!
    Dragonlady30 and border_walker like this.
  4. Ivartheboneless

    Ivartheboneless Star commenter

    Watch and reminisce
  5. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

  6. afterdark

    afterdark Lead commenter

    "In May, Govia Thameslink Railway admitted a health and safety breach because a sign saying not to lean out was not displayed clearly enough."

    Hard to believe I have just read that. So the sign was clearly displayed, just not 'clearly enough'. Exactly what is the definition of being 'clearly enough'?

    There is a photo of a door slathered in warning signs. The issue seems to be that the warning for those stupid enough to stick their head out of the window of a moving wasn't large enough.

    It annoys me that the train company has to apologise for the stupidity of adult passenger. It is the same with parasitic litigation against schools.
  7. Oscillatingass

    Oscillatingass Star commenter

    Maybe I am old and cynical but one usually finds large corporations are found to be at fault in situations like this. A load of money changes hands and everyone feels so much better. Imagine the media outcry if it was found that X father of ……..children and loving husband of Y who was lovely in all regards was found to be responsible for his own demise due to crass stupidity. No, the large corporation is always to blame.
    Happygopolitely likes this.
  8. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    Primarily because Govia Thameslink pleaded guilty of failing to assess (and ameliorate) the risk of running carriages with droplight windows on track with less than the standard clearance between the carriage and trackside obstructions such as signal gantries.

    The window was in a door provided for use only by train guards, but the service does not use guards, so bars should have been placed across the window to stop people poking their heads out. Govia Thameslink failed to provide such bars. (The Class 42 carriages involved were pensioned off soon after the accident).

    The poor chap who died probably didn't realise that the gap between the carriage and the gantry on which he struck his head was only a few inches - he wouldn't have needed to stick his head out far to experience a fatal collision. Of course, it was stupid to stick his head out at all, but carriages with droplight windows are now rare, so the old mantra not to stick your head out may not be as well known thse days as it once was. Basically, you can't stick your head out of a window on most trains these days so there are generally no warnings about doing so.

    Full report:

  9. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    Common sense is an oxymoron.
    Laphroig and Dragonlady30 like this.
  10. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    If you read the Rail Accident Report, para 103 (link above) you will see that the investigators concluded that the cause of the accident was Govia Thameslink's failure to prevent passengers from opening a window and sticking their heads out on a line with significantly less than the normal clearances between carriages and lineside structures. It says that "It is not possible to say whether the lack of conspicuity of the warning notice was a factor in the accident", but the RailCo's failure to either lock the window or provide it with bars was the main cause.
  11. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Why must you be so scathing about an accidental death?
    This main was a railway worker and had been a volunteer in that field.
    The windows were of the sort you simply slide down in order to access the handle outside.
    OK-Neither of these facts are relevant to how the death happened, they are just some context which prevent me being as scathing as you personally.

    However, one thing which is highly relevant is that measuring was done after the accident and it was found that a train with such windows was able to pass by such a metal gantry at high speed leaving a distance of only 68mm. The window opened easily. The warning sign not to lean out was determined as ill placed. And a fixed metal object was very close by.
    All of these parameters converged to lead to death. Nothing here inherently says "stupidity" to me, yet plenty which says "danger".

    68mm-did you realise this measurement when you nominated him for a Darwin Award? 68mm-this is less than the length of a hand. And the window opened easily. All that is required is to stick your nose out. You don't even need to lean if you are tall enough. Even a more strategically placed "don't lean out of window" sign would be irrelevant.
    At the inquest it was determined he would not even have known there had been an accident. Luckily.

    They immediately withdrew trains on that line with those windows.
    Are you saying it is because he was an imbecile?
  12. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    I actually find that in bad taste.
    Not per se.
    But given the news story in question.
    smoothnewt likes this.
  13. Aquamarina1234

    Aquamarina1234 Star commenter

    It doesn't ever take much to push your bad taste button though.
  14. afterdark

    afterdark Lead commenter

    No, the stupidity of the person sticking their head (or part thereof) out of the window was the cause. The law here flying in the face of common sense and proclaiming that the train company is somehow at fault.
    border_walker likes this.
  15. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    You know what

    On the (now very rare) occasions that I find myself on a fast moving train. I always have to fight the impulse to roll down the window and stick my head out so I see in glorious technicolour pieces of my brain fly in all directions after my head smashes into an oncoming tunnel wall or another train.
    lanokia and BetterNow like this.
  16. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    "had been previously described by friends as a life-long railway fanatic who was working in the rail industry."

    nomad, afterdark and magic surf bus like this.
  17. coffeekid

    coffeekid Star commenter

    His poor family.
  18. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    Saying that you know better than the Rail Accident Investigation Branch makes you sound eerily like Michael Gove decrying experts. :(

    The report of the Rail Accident Investigation Branch is what I quoted, not "the law". Surprising though it may seem, railway companies are expected to take reasonable precautions in the interests of the safety of their employees and customers - even the stupid ones.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2019
  19. peter12171

    peter12171 Star commenter

    However did we manage in the days of ‘slam door’ carriages under British Rail? I know, we read the signs and followed the advice.

    I feel sorry for his family, and there do appear to have been failings by the train operators, but personal assessment of risk appears to have been lacking here.
    mothorchid likes this.
  20. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    We didn't. We put up with a significant number of deaths and injuries each year due to alighting from moving trains (opening the door early at London termini, and losing grip of it so that it swung open and struck a line of passengers waiting to board the same train for its return journey, was a constant problem):
    • 1960: 7 killed, 1,190 injured
    • 1961: 6 killed, 1,144 injured
    • 1962: 4 killed, 904 injured
    • 1978: 1 killed, 31 seriously injured, 685 slightly injured
    • 1979: 2 killed, 40 seriously injured, 678 slightly injured
    For falling out of carriages during the running of trains, the figures are:
    • 1960: 13 killed, 25 injured
    • 1961: 16 killed, 24 injured
    • 1962: 16 killed, 23 injured
    • 1978: 3 killed, 22 seriously injured, 31 slightly injured
    • 1979: 4 killed, 19 seriously injured, 617 slightly injured
    Figures from the annual reports to the Minister of Transport on the Accidents that occur on the Railways of Great Britain. It was, of course, due to these deaths and injuries that central locking of train doors was introduced throughout the western world.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2019
    emerald52 likes this.

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