Another Dayliner crash on Vancouver Island – Why Do Car Drivers Believe They Have The Right To Go Through a Red Light?


Here we go again, another car driver ignoring railway crossing lights and bell and proceeds to crash into a train. One has little sympathy for car drivers ignoring the rules of the road, but until our provincial ministry of transportation takes seriously the fact that car drivers deliberately disobeying ‘red’ lights should be prohibited from driving for at least six months. We are getting extremely tough on ‘drink and drive’ violations but the most basic tenets of the rules of the road, stopping at red lights, is taken lightly.

Don’t blame the train, blame the car driver.

A google view of the Drinkwater railway crossing.,+British+Columbia&sll=48.763686,-123.679233&sspn=0.020537,0.0527&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Drinkwater+Rd,+Duncan,+British+Columbia+V9L+6C2&ll=48.80798,-123.717899&spn=0,0.02635&z=16&layer=c&cbll=48.803141,-123.72417&panoid=SnV8x-OpJRrQppsVJExzrQ&cbp=12,259.53,,0,14.36

Train and car collide in Duncan

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17 Responses to “Another Dayliner crash on Vancouver Island – Why Do Car Drivers Believe They Have The Right To Go Through a Red Light?”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    I think the tough on DUI is only to draw away attention from HST and the liberal parties own issues with DUI and so many other driving and legal problems…

    It is amazing how many cars I watch run through red lights, not just as they’re changing but well after they’ve changed. I guess there is just so many cars the police can’t really enforce it… That is another reason why “the climate is right for trains”… We put more trains out there, that’s less morons in cars who can’t drive or simply refuse to attempt to do it responsibly.

    I don’t know if this picture will work, but Zwei, I took the interurban map, and painted on some lines of how I thought it could be expanded in the future… After the initial line is brought back, and using it as a backbone, to connect Chilliwack, Aldergrove, Abbotsford, YXX/TradeX, Mission, White Rock, Surrey, Langley, etc… I am by no means an expert and have no ideas on costs or feasabilites of any of the lines I painted on there, but I just thought that it looked like good coverage south of the Fraser, starting with the interurban route as it’s backbone and expanding from there in the future…

    Zweisystem replies: I think that it is high time that we took transit planning away from the so called experts and put into the hands of transit customers. We must design our transit system to suit the needs of the people who actually use it.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Here’s a link to the map Zwei, I think I forgot to add it,

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Hmm, that one is really small,

  4. Bryan Vogler Says:

    I found this accident quite funny. Transport Canada was not called to investigate again. The R.C.M.P. report is an illegal act when a train collision is not investigated by Transport Canada first. The R.C.M..P. maintain highway law not railway law. They will say car collided with train. Via will investigate there own cause on the car.
    If truth be known the track and track bed should have been condemned long ago. Unsafe at any speed, the track is the responsiblity of no one.
    Via does not own it. Southern Rail of B.C. leases it. The railiner is a 1953 rebebuilt railway relic that should be in a museum and not running into cars. Budd the manufacturer of this car went out of business in the 1950’s and what you see is a strange assembly of custom parts called a railcar.
    There are 5 left in Canada most have ended there lives in wrecks. The classic one was ouside Innisfail Alberta on C.P. tracks between Edmonton and Calgary. A signal maintainer left the switch the opposite way thus the dayliners ended up in a siding colliding with propane cars.
    Via the owner of the railiners was charged in court and had to pay all costs. Under the terms of contract with both CN and CP any collision is the fault of Via rail when involved at anytime, wherever, whenever with any cars. That includes hitting a car at a crossing.
    This led to an Unexplained CN head on collision with a Via passenger train at Hinton Alberta in 1985. The two collisions were 3 years apart.
    It was never an accident as reported by the press. It was done to put Via Rail over 800 million in debt by 1988. It was done to sell Air Canada the same year as Molroney posted signs all over the country about how high the debt was. By 1989 CN announced the had to cut most staff at Via to collect the debt Via could not pay. Molroney used the high debt to sell of Air canada and cripple Via rail for good. It did not reduce the debt at all. Canada taxpayer were on the hook for cheap early retirments of both CN and Via rail. To cover it up CN was sold by 1995.
    No longer a burden on taxpayers who now pay more than when they owned it. So when we think of terrible train collision think really hard before you use the term accident. Most are not. In this case the railway caused the accident by not maintianing good track and using a derilc car to collide at a crossing it could never stop at if it tried.

  5. Bryan Vogler Says:

    Edmonton Alberta
    Via Rail Canada train passes the crossing, stopping only after the fact of hitting a car and killing a family. The car was demolished by this dinasour out of the early 1950’s. Like the railcar yesterday on Vancouver Island the fleet are all ex Canadian Pacific scrap heap pieces rolling on rails to show Canada’s high technology side to the world. it was only in 2006 Via finished putting sewage holding tanks on it. At least there will be no human feces around this time that had been found between the discs and pads making it near impossible to judge a stop.
    Today new 10 year old Knorr brakes and sensors give no indication of a stopping distance and tend to be very slow in emergency response compared to Westinghouse air brakes used on frieght trains. The passenger train uses a gradual braking system so even if it had to stop suddenly, it would not. Obviuosly the passengers would be thrown about with furniture and only add to the victims the train already hit.
    The black box then, does not represent the true speed when stopping, nor does it take into consideration the weather rule of”only travel half the distance you can see, which allows for better judgement of the crew. This train should have been going no faster than 50m.p.h. through the city, and add the snow flurries and cold temperatures the rain should have been going 30 mph. It was reported going 110mph which would make it a suicide run for Via Rail. Compare the two situations, the Vancouver Island one , and this one and I’M sure you will find vintage Via Rail cars were the result of the collision and not the car.
    This crossing had not been sanded or plowed, or the roads either leading up to it. The lights and crossing guard stop nobody from going across a level crossing. Once again past history shows the railways do nothing to warn themselves ahead of time a car is coming to the crossing. It shows how lack Via Saftey is, and thats after numerous accidents and investigations that keep repeating themselves over and over again. Via complains of no money, it complains its going private for the last twenty years. Name one company that would buy into this bunch of railway clunkers. Its over Via….OVER…no more.

  6. David Says:

    As outdated as the Budd cars may be the fact remains that drivers of automobiles frequently run red lights and ignore railway crossing signals. Notwithstanding the snowy day Bryan mentions above I think it’s likely that most car/train collisions are the fault of the car not the train.

  7. Richard Says:

    So a motorist passes a red light and it is the fault of VIA Rail because it is forced to use old stock. I take it Bryan will admit full responsibility when somebody jumps lights and side swipes his old car?

    Think you get the politicians you deserve, somebody with vision to see a future of efficent rail transport doesn’t stand a chance in Canada

  8. Bryan Vogler Says:

    The last comment by Richard explains why B.C at least pays people to remove the old clunkers off the street. ICBC is doing there part paying a not bad price for these old cars. Maybe Transport Canada the owners of Via Rail should do the same. I agree start over with modern equipment On a totally rebuilt passenger railway. Commuter Rail would work nice on Vancouver Island where Via now runs.
    For one thing the population is growing in leaps and bounds, yet the railway remains stagnate, dead to this world. In this case the car is not at fault. Its a total diregard for public saftey with old equipment like this.
    Its money though. Via fixes it own stuff and ICBC fixes the car claim.
    Notice Via investigates its own car, no third party here. If I was the owner of the car in the collion should I have the same right?
    Its not like a car went through a city intersection on a red and collided with another car. The Criminal Code of Canada continues to give railways legal leverage to kill people, and raise ther hand yelling “we can’t stop”. Seems wreckless and not responsible.

    On the mainline the railways have added longer trains and heavy equipment at faster speeds. It would be different if at least they tried to do better.

  9. Richard Says:

    Red Light means danger only a moron passes one expecting nothing to happen!

    Steel wheel on steel rail doesn’t give the best grip in the world. Whether the stock was built in 1850, 1950 or 2010 the force required to stop a moving object is considerable. Not wreckless not irresponsible plain physics.

    Railways have more legal obligations than the average car driver could cope with. Many car drivers don’t seem to understand that it is unsafe, as well as illegal in many provinces, to use a cell ‘phone while driving. Probably the same attitude that says I don’t have to stop at a railway crossing red lights, bells or whatever!

    Zweisystem replies: I guess those who don’t stop at railway crossings when the gates are down or the red lights are flashing are akin to those who insist on walking down the middle of a railway track.

  10. Anonymous Says:

    On the way to my parents house there is a railway crossing with a stop sign. Almost nobody ever stops there. I’ve been passed many times at high speeds when I’ve stopped there in my commercial vehicle. So now they are on the wrong side of a double solid line, running a stop sign, and cannot see past my vehicle if a train may be coming… But Bryan, you would blame the train for hitting the car?

  11. Bryan Vogler Says:

    The law throught the last 2 centuries has not put into place a law to stop trains at crossings. It may have been different when there were no highways or airplanes, but urban growth has changed the demographics of the landscape. Unfortunatley for the driving public the more crossings made left the railway with more leverage to use the ommission and hit anything in its way. Today longer trains and heavier equipment really means the railways are not legally obligated to stop, but should be.
    Trains have brakes and the shorter the train the less stopping distance.
    The lighter the train the less weight to stop. By these heavier and longer trains of today the railways are not even trying to include public safety in their mandate. Cars can hit trains at crossings, but trains hit cars too.
    Thi idea of of railways shouting”the dam driver was fool to cross inf ront of train is certainly a lie. The fools who hit cars at crossings careless about the public and do it in spite of safety procures that claim different.
    Bot Cn and CP are out of the airline, hotel, and passenger train business because they don’t want the public. They don’t want you at their crossings either, but your there and not nuts as they have told you.
    Its time the railways put on there brakes and stopped the murdering of drivers who misjudged the distance.

  12. David Says:

    This is the last time I will reply to Bryan Vogler who probably lost a relative in a train collision that he honestly believes was the fault of the railway in some way. He may be right or wrong about that particular situation, but to continue to act like people driving on our highways can do no wrong is disingenuous at best.

    Maybe unleashing your possibly justified anger on this blog may make you feel better, but it only makes you look like a bitter man who simply cannot cope with reality.

    There are a million times more idiots behind the wheel in this country than there are men and women driving trains. The statistical likelihood that more than 1% of train/vehicle collisions are the fault of the train is extremely low.

    I won’t want to sound too callous because I know some people wind up on railway tracks at the wrong time through no fault of their own, but anyone who willfully ignores a signal telling them to stop and wait for the train to pass or a sign urging caution because level crossings are dangerous deserves whatever fate befalls them.

    Maybe you should enrol in therapy with some of the engineers whose lives were ruined when some idiot decided to “beat” their train.

    Zweisystem replies: We now live in a culture where a stop sign or stop light is ignored. Stop signs, stop lights are the most basic form of traffic control and if we allow drivers to ignore them, then the consequences are fatal.

  13. Bryan Vogler Says:

    Last Call:
    Judge Foisy said it in one sentence: The Hinton rail tragedy, was the worst passenger train accident in half century or more. I C.N. freight, uninsoected for safety went through a red signal onto the mainline cuasing a head on into a Via train. Via was billed 850million and totally to blame financially. There is no safety obligation for the railways. None.
    The Judge ruled in 1987, CN put productivity over safety, money over safety, which resulted in the collision.
    The railways are reckless and they are left to control themselves, on the freeway they own. They have there own police who are controlled by a 1850 demerit system from the slave days.
    Today C.N. and C.P. move huge trains with many tons and the crossings are well marked in the timetable before hand. With that knoweldge they don’t even try to stop for a crossing, they just slam through unheeded, wreckless and emotionally like a statue. It looks like productivity still prevails after killing and injurering many people by running there own reds.
    One may argue, but drivers going toward a crossing and seeing the flashing lights, also realize the engineer is a half a mile away and knows the crossing is there, they don’t slow down on the side of caution either.
    I think its time the railway was subject to a police force like the motorist and equal laws for both were applied. Today there is no law that states how long it takes for a train to stop, and there is no law of how long it takes for a car to stop. You can measure rubber tread on pavement, but not steel wheels on rail. If they were serious about Judge Foisy and the recommendation, you would have shorter trains, that can be controlled better and more of them. Since the recomendation we have longer trains and less of them, and harder to control than any time in the history of railroading. Its time the railways put safety first.

  14. Courtney Says:

    I need to get an answer to my Science Fait project on car drivers stopping at stop signs!! PLEASE HELP!

    Zweisystem replies: In the real world, a stop sign means stop – FULL STOP. Somehow in North America, a stop sign means stop for everyone else.

    In simplest terms, a stop sign gives the right of way. In the railway world, a stop sign or red light means stop and if a driver passes the stop he will be liable for an investigation and any penalties assigned.

    To curb stop sign abuse, a simple rule should be added to the motor vehicles act. Failing to stop at a stop sign means your car will be impounded for 1 week. If you fail to stop at a stop sign and cause an accident, one year prohibition driving. We do it for DUI’S, why not for failing to stop at a stop sign!

  15. Courtney Says:

    I would just like some Ideas to approach it!

    Zweisystem replies: Please see your previous comment.

  16. Bryan Vogler Says:

    Thanks for all the feedback it is really great. I was just reading a history book on the B&O Railway. This was the first railway to move a passenger train in North America.
    Its first run was short and on return became the first railway to hit a horse and buggy at a crossing. The horse was killed. The Engineman did not try to stop the train, despite his Fireman’s request.
    It was facinating to note the engine was called a Tom Thumb that pulled the four cars at an amazing speed of 10mph. The horse had no idea what that was that crossed in front of him. Nobody had seen a train before. What the hell was that thing anyway.
    If you have ever heard the term,”Rule of Thumb”, this is where it began.
    It became an accepted practice before the Civil War of 1860, being thr un was in 1827. It was a time in history where even the federal government had no laws on trains, nobody even knew after the accident if the public was going to accept this contraption. Yet for the next to centuries the Rule of Thumb stayed with the railways, leaving towns and villages to block vehicle traffic in a defence of demographics.
    The train had no brakes, a small steam engine and four small cars could be stopped easy by a upgrade, where there was not enough power to pull the train.
    Railways became so popular ten years later, they were a national public hero. Every Congressman wanted a station in his town. The nework develeped into a fishermans nest of tangled fishing line and hooks and dead weights. You could imagine a railroad with no signals, no telegraph, and often no way home after leaving.
    In two centuries of train travel, the contraption still cannot stop. Yet we have railcars with passengers that now are considered correct still in not stopping. They have hi friction rubber backed disc brakes run on a air brake system. The steel against steel as some argue is a good reason, it cannot stop, must consider the improvements and only 2 inches of the wheel touches the track at any time.
    The biggest mistake was in early legislation when J.P.Morgan a finaciaier bought up all the small railways as investments leading onto the B&O mainline. Convinced the investments were profitable industrial branches, he persuaded Congress to regulate railways to have the right a way over the slow a tedious buckboard wagon and horse. It did not take much convincing for Congress to do what the railways wanted as safety was never an issue in the slave era of railroading.
    Yet today we have Worksafe B.C., and Labour Canada plus railway unions Health and Safety Committees, City by-laws, and they all stand together on “the rule of thumb”.
    While other modes of surface transportation may or may not have better braking systems,(factory recalls, etc), even with the highway laws, traffic on pavement does not stop either in a lot of cases on the red.
    The question is was the railway right in the first place, even without politics. Even Judge Foisy seemed to have contradicted the rule of thumb to improve railway safety in this century. So far the railways are stuck in a rut of time, perhaps from bad habits, or like the little kid, will commit the crime until some person in power says STOP.
    Many Police departments across North America agree speed kills, yet being so car orientated we focus on the highway only. Trains move faster than cars across highways, and no brakes. So perhaps the people are no longer educated about trains and think it is a dinsoar that never comes, the age is over. Just some track reminants, full of weeds and rotten ties, with crooked rails and rusty spikes. It is a godd description of the Vancouver Island Island Railway, formerly the E&N. The previous owner the Canadian Pacific Railway, left it in a state of decay, it was very similar to a dinasoar age railway, with antique movie sites like Parksville station for movies. Safety Agencies have made little difference, maybe dinasours are not in the rules.
    The Arbutus right of way, another passenger track owned by the same Company has not had train since 1995. The former Vancouver and Lulu Island charter torn to bits, it should be a pedestrian bike pathway between Stanley Park and the Canada Line at the foot of Cambie St. in Marpole. The track is a safety hazard running through Vancouver and should be part of the Vancouver City Green Plan. It has gardens on it already, and also a back alley for many small companies. It can be shared easy. An election looms people and these railway tracks should be included in political discusssion and considered future greenspace and parkland.
    The E&N another commuter rail line double tracked to share with freight.

  17. Bryan Vogler Says:

    As a result of the Dayliner accident on Vancouver Island, Via has announced the service has ended and will be replaced by bus service.

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