U.S. Capital

Injury Crashes Raise Concerns Over Houston Light Rail Safety

Sep 2, 2014

Washington, D.C. (Law Firm Newswire) September 2, 2014 – This summer, a cluster of crashes involving Houston’s MetroRail light rail system caused serious injuries and reignited concerns about the system’s safety.

Three incidents occurred in the same week, all involving collisions between a light rail train and a passenger car, according to a news report in the Houston Chronicle. According to the Chronicle, one of the crashes was deemed preventable by the light rail operator. The other two were likely the fault of motorists.

“These three accidents add to the mounting evidence that the Houston light rail system poses undue risk to the public,” commented David Lietz, a transportation accident attorney. “I that Houston Metro officials do not chalk these crashes up to coincidence.”

According to statistical analysis by the Chronicle, the Houston light rail system sees far more accidents per mile than other light rail systems across the country. Light rail critics argue that the lack of separation between the tracks and the regular roadway is one of the problems. Houston’s light rail system is street-grade, and as such, it is not well-separated from automobile traffic.

Compounding the issue, analysis of data provided by the U.S. Federal Transit Administration suggests that the ratio of light rail accidents per passenger mile is significantly higher than it is for many other forms of public transportation.

“Even though Metro authorities claim that motorists cause most of Houston’s light rail accidents, they need to take responsibility for providing adequate urban design,” said Lietz. “Many other cities have been able to implement light rail systems that do not confuse and endanger motorists. Houston must seek to do the same.”

Houston Metro is opening two new light rail lines in December. Officials told the Chronicle that they are doing everything they can to alert motorists to the new traffic patterns, but that “change is hard.”

Learn more at http://www.lietzlaw.com/

The Lietz Law Firm
888 16th Street NW
Suite 800
Washington, DC 20006
Call: 202.349.9869

View Larger Map

  • Trucking Regulators to Require Electronic Logs on Commercial Trucks
    The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently proposed a new rule that would require most commercial trucks and buses to be equipped with electronic devices that record the duration of time the vehicles are driven. The federal government sets limits on how many hours commercial bus and truck drivers may be behind the wheel […]
  • Five Injured as New York City Bus Crashes Into Minivan, Building
    Five people were injured when a New York City bus collided with a vehicle, careened onto a sidewalk and crashed into a building. The accident occurred on the morning of April 4, 2014 on Broadway near West 155th Street in Washington Heights. According to Metropolitan Transit Authority spokesman Kevin Ortiz, witnesses stated that a minivan […]
  • NHTSA proposes side impact test for child car seats
    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently proposed upgrades to the safety standards governing child restraint systems. The proposal includes a first-ever side impact test for child car seats sold in the United States. The proposed test simulates a “T-bone” crash, in which a small passenger vehicle traveling at 15 mph is impacted from […]