Rules Trump Reason

Riding in to work this morning I was passed by a school bus. Just ahead of where the bus passed me there were some abandoned train tracks that crossed the street. They’ve been out of service forever. There are signs indicating that they are out of service. There are big heavy chains hung across the tracks on each side of the road. Yet, the driver (who most likely drives this route every day and knows that the tracks are out of service) came to a complete stop, looked both ways, and then continued on. Shocking.

Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that the rules actually say to stop at ALL tracks, even those out of service. Why? So that the drivers don’t take on a lazy attitude and not stop at an active track? I’d like to argue the counter argument that the driver is now becoming so accustomed to this silly routine where the look is just out of habit, a motion of the head, not a real look, that they may be inclined to do the same when they do approach a real track! It goes both ways, you can’t legislate reason! THINK! Use common sense!

3 thoughts on “Rules Trump Reason”

  1. Hey, thanks for the reply. I’m glad to have people contributing their thoughts, that’s exactly why I started using WordPress rather than static pages! 🙂

    OK… so, the rule says that they have to stop at ALL tracks. Do you agree that this can actually contribute to the driver being lazy ‘just following a routine’ at an active track?

  2. I do actually. But I think that risk is better than the risk of one blowing through a track and getting hit. The number of malfunctioning train signals/gates is scary. We’ve had some pretty high profile train vs. school bus accidents in recent years and it ain’t good.

    Also, you’re right that “you can’t legislate reason”. But unfortunately you also cannot assume people will use common sense. Namely because many people don’t have any.

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