Since the state and local agencies are doing just a terrible job, President Obama and his U.S. Department of Transportation is ready and willing to take control of the nation’s light rail and subway system. Dorks like Sen. Chuck Schumer are perfectly fine with this. Conservatives are not.
Why would Schumer be perfectly willing to hand off control of safety oversight for mass transit? Quite simply, so everyone else can pay for it.
Sen. Schumer says that, if the measure passes and the feds order subway safety improvements, the feds should also provide the money to pay for them.
From Joe Stephens and Lena H. Sun at The Washington Post.
The Obama administration will propose that the federal government take over safety regulation of the nation’s subway and light-rail systems, responding to what it says is haphazard and ineffective oversight by state agencies.
Under the proposal, the U.S. Department of Transportation would do for transit what it does for airlines and Amtrak: set and enforce federal regulations to ensure that millions of passengers get to their destinations safely. Administration officials said the plan will be presented in coming weeks to Congress, which must approve a change in the law.
The proposal would affect every subway and light-rail system in the country, including large systems in Washington, New York, Boston, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Administration officials said they are responding to a growing number of collisions, derailments and worker fatalities on subways — and in particular to the fatal June 22 crash on Metro’s Red Line and failures in oversight that have surfaced in its wake. Those failures have been the subject of an ongoing investigative series in The Washington Post.
This move has absolutely nothing to do with ensuring passengers get to their destinations safely. It’s all about centralized control at the federal level of everything they can get their grubby little hands on. The Red Line crash in Washington, D.C. in June was simply the crisis that could not go to waste.
So, with the federal government in control of airlines and Amtrak, you would figure those methods of travel would be safe. Well. I guess it’s all about how you would define safe. If you’re definition is that nobody gets hurt or killed, the federal government has completely failed.
- Transportation: A Head-On Amtrak Crash
- Cleanup continues at scene of Amtrak crash in California
- Collision of Amtrak Passenger Train 371 and Norfolk Southern Railway Company Freight Train 23M (Nov. 30, 2007)
- Passenger Fatality on Long Island Rail Road, Queens, New York (Aug. 5, 2006)
- Amtrak Train Crashes Into Car, Kills 5 Near Detroit
- 9-Year-Old, Elderly Couple Killed In Amtrak Crash
Those are just a few examples of Amtrak crashes. Of course we have airline crashes as well.
- Continental Connection 3407 (Feb. 12, 2009)
- Comair 5191 (Aug. 27, 2006)
- Chalk’s 101 (Dec. 19, 2005)
- Southwest 1248 (Dec. 8, 2005)
- American 587 (Nov. 12. 2001)
It really does come down to cash and control. The federal government wants more of it. They have the vanity to think they can fix anything.
“After the [Metro] train crash, we were all sitting around here scratching our heads, saying, ‘Hey, we’ve got to do something about this,’ ” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in an interview. “And we discovered that there’s not much we could do, because the law wouldn’t allow us to do it.”
Look, with this mentality, the federal government should get involved with the regulation of backyard swimming pools. Why not? Per the CDC, “there were 3,582 fatal unintentional drownings in the United States, averaging ten deaths per day” in 2005. Many deaths happen in backyard pools.
Let’s just ban backyard pools and swimming in lakes, rivers and oceans.