OK, I have been biting my tongue this week over the news stories about light rail crashes but this bonehead move just kind of set me off…
Don’t drink and drive. We have heard it tens of thousands of times. In fact, many people really like taking light rail to and from fun festivals, sporting events, concerts, etc. because they often feel like it would be better to take the Metro than to get behind the wheel of a car after a drink, or two.
Apparently Steven, the driver of a PT Cruiser, didn’t get the “don’t drink and drive” memo and decided to drive onto the light rail bridge. Yes, really. The story was covered by several media outlets and can be found on ABC 15’s web site where they wrote an article titled, “ Man drives onto light rail tracks in Tempe.” Metro spokesperson Hillary Foose said that light rail traffic was diverted to single tracks while the car was removed.
Who knows what this guy was thinking. I can’t imagine trying to drive onto this bridge. If you have never seen it, you might think it could be an easy mistake to have made. If you have seen this bridge, you are probably like me and scratching your head wondering what the heck happened. I found a video I shot of my first trip over the light rail bridge back in October of 2008 which was prior to the light rail grand opening. At that time, no one had tried to drive a car over the bridge, but I think it will give people a decent view of the tracks and how they look while traveling over Tempe Town Lake. The video is less than a minute long, but you will see the track and the fact that it really wasn’t designed with PT Cruisers in mind.
While the stupid stunt by Steven wasn’t quite as “news worthy” as the accident below, it is kind of interesting.
You may remember this accident from last year when someone pulled out in front of a train. Stuff happens all the time around town, but when it comes to media attention, all you have to do is mention light rail and add someone that isn’t paying attention and you get to be on TV. Recently, Lori Jane Gliha did a story about light rail accidents where they talked about light rail safety and how dangerous some of the intersections are. While I am all for light rail safety campaigns, I think most of this stuff comes down to personal responsibility. I’m pretty sure that each and every accident has been the fault of the driver not paying attention. These things are trains, they are BIG and they make noise. You throw a little bit of alcohol in the mix and you really start to have problems.
Be careful out there folks, it’s a dangerous world.