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Discussion Starter #1
I, for the most part, trust science, and what I learn from well researched sources. of course, that means my opinions must occasionally change. However, I always stop at train tracks and look both ways. Today I was in a position to, for half an hour or so, watch people driving down this country road and cross a set of CSX tracks with Gates and lights. No one stopped. Most didn't even slow down. A lot of them went over the tracks doing 60+mph. No one looked. We have 10-15 freight trains through here everyday doing 50-60 mph. A couple of times a day an Amtrak comes through doing in excess of 70. I couldn't help but wonder how many of these people don't vaccinate their children, don't believe in the whole climate change thing, are paranoid about the PTB and so much more, yet, they trust a simple electrical connection to keep them from colliding with a train. :facepalm:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm pretty sure that a large portion of the people I observed consider themselves devout Christians. I'm not sure what that has to do with it. They weren't trusting God, they were trusting the switch.
ETA
Probably while congratulating themselves on what fine Christians they are. :D Whatever they were thinking, they weren't thinking about crossing a train track.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Contemplate, if you will, why did the PTB make CSX put lights and gates at these crossings?
 

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I, for the most part, trust science, and what I learn from well researched sources. of course, that means my opinions must occasionally change. However, I always stop at train tracks and look both ways. Today I was in a position to, for half an hour or so, watch people driving down this country road and cross a set of CSX tracks with Gates and lights. No one stopped. Most didn't even slow down. A lot of them went over the tracks doing 60+mph. No one looked. We have 10-15 freight trains through here everyday doing 50-60 mph. A couple of times a day an Amtrak comes through doing in excess of 70. I couldn't help but wonder how many of these people don't vaccinate their children, don't believe in the whole climate change thing, are paranoid about the PTB and so much more, yet, they trust a simple electrical connection to keep them from colliding with a train. :facepalm:
Every time you get behind the wheel of that car you stop at the tracks you trust hundreds of simple electrical and mechanical connections. Connections that were designed and implemented by the same beings who designed and installed the switch you doubt. Why the difference in trust in the vehicle and not the train train switch? How many times has that switch failed causing death? How many cars have had mechanical failures causing death? Maybe you should start walking.
 

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It comes down to having personal control. If you think that your fate is in your own hands, you may choose to that a risk. Or not, depending on your attitude.

However, when the power to take actions you think are to your advantage are strong armed out of your own control, especially at the word of people whose attitude is that they know what is good for you better than you do, their motivation is highly suspect. I have rarely, at least in the last decade or so, found that concern for my welfare is even a minimal consideration of government or education. In fact just the opposite. Individuals seem to be set on using me to get funding for their self aggrandizing agenda while flicking off the resulting difficulties their actions cause.

If, for instance, global warming was really a concern for the future of individuals, there would be huge efforts to minimize the negative effects of proposed solutions, rather than the combination of nagging, taxes and acccusation that passes for policy now. Efforts would come in terms of helping individuals keep their lives intact while changing technology to effect results.

So far, the 'scientific agenda' as played out in politics comes down to taking my money for ineffectual programs benefiting a few while shovelling guilt with both hands and simultaneously parading a holier than thou attitude.

Frankly, there is a ready excuse for minimizing the worry of global warming cum change in that there is long knowledge of climate variation prior to global warming, solutions suggested are painful and ineffective and the arrogance of the advocates is irritating. There is a serious inconsistence in their various policies publicly and privately. Ever been to a University town and noticed all the spending on big, wasteful PR projects? How can anyone take such people seriously?

It's hard to take a group of people flying all around the world for meetings seriously when they tell me to ride a bike to work. Or that I use too much water when funding infrastructure maintenance is too hard. Or recycle when they won't fund it enough to make it doable for the average joe. Etc etc etc.
 

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I drive Hazmat Truck and stop at every railroad crossing, as required by law.

Otherwise i have never stopped at crossings that has arms and/or lights, if they were not activated. I do slow down now, out of habit and since railroad crossing are very hard on vehicle suspensions..

I have been on 10's of thousands of crossings everywhere and have never seen people stop when the lights are not activated.

Regarding malfunctions it's usually the opposite. The lights are on the arms are down and there is no train.

We live in a world of chance.
 

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Hans Monderman was a famous libertarian highway planner from the Netherlands. He gained some notoriety by performing the following feat;

A dangerous intersection was claiming lives at an alarming rate. The local authorities tried everything they could think of. They added signs, flashing lights, lowered the speed limit...you name it. None of it worked. Finally they called in Hans Monderman. After studying the intersection he had the authorities take DOWN all the signs, all the speed limit signs, and all the flashers. The death count fell almost immediately.

His theory was that when people feel that they are guided or protected by authorities they stop taking personal responsibility for their safety and actually behave more recklessly. When all the signs and instructions were stripped away, the people slowed down upon nearing the intersection and engaged their own sense of safety/self preservation.

Other studies have shown that wearing seatbelts have not saved nearly as many lives as originally thought. People who wear seatbelts have been demonstrated to drive more recklessly, increasing the likelihood of having an accident. Though they are somewhat more likely to survive an accident, the increased likelihood of having one might actually cancel out the advantage. The feeling of security given by the seatbelt is demonstrated to encourage more risky behavior behind the wheel.
 

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Crossing signals fail in the "stop traffic" position. Your comparison choice was not a good one, and as been mentioned stopping can in some cases end up being MORE dangerous.

My position is to try to check things out on my own when possible, not worry about the stuff I have checked out, and prioritize risks and responses. Some people don't have the luxury of time to do much checking, nor the resources to understand what they have found. I can't fault them for that. Life - box of chocolates and all that.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
What really amazed me is, that no one even looked. This is a crossing at the bottom of a long hill in the country. Coming from one direction you can see about 150yd. All the other views are not even 30yd. I know that everyone did it, from all belief systems and political leanings. I was just kinda funning about that. It just amazes me that everyone trusts those signal so much. It's only been a few years since CSX put signals at almost all of their crossings around here. Truthfully, I do not actually stop at every crossing, at some I only slow almost to a stop, but visually confirm that indeed, no train is coming.

I hope no one actually thinks I have ever baited anyone on their religious beliefs. I don't believe I have. I have very deep faith in God, and Know Him quite well, I think. I do think many have beliefs that are shallow and simplistic, but tend to keep those thoughts to myself. It takes some of all kinds.
 

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I can beat that. I know of a crossing with NO visibility and NO signals. This is one where I do stop and look because you simply would not see a train unless it was right on the crossing. Far as I have seen, no one else ever stops or slows down for those tracks.

As for the other tracks I frequently cross, visibility is good enough that I can see a train coming so no, I don't stop or slow down. But I do look, long before I get to the tracks. Had a couple close calls with malfunctioning crossing equipment when I was much younger so I never take it for granted that the equipment works properly.
 

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It comes down to having personal control. If you think that your fate is in your own hands, you may choose to that a risk. Or not, depending on your attitude.

However, when the power to take actions you think are to your advantage are strong armed out of your own control, especially at the word of people whose attitude is that they know what is good for you better than you do, their motivation is highly suspect. I have rarely, at least in the last decade or so, found that concern for my welfare is even a minimal consideration of government or education. In fact just the opposite. Individuals seem to be set on using me to get funding for their self aggrandizing agenda while flicking off the resulting difficulties their actions cause.

If, for instance, global warming was really a concern for the future of individuals, there would be huge efforts to minimize the negative effects of proposed solutions, rather than the combination of nagging, taxes and acccusation that passes for policy now. Efforts would come in terms of helping individuals keep their lives intact while changing technology to effect results.

So far, the 'scientific agenda' as played out in politics comes down to taking my money for ineffectual programs benefiting a few while shovelling guilt with both hands and simultaneously parading a holier than thou attitude.

Frankly, there is a ready excuse for minimizing the worry of global warming cum change in that there is long knowledge of climate variation prior to global warming, solutions suggested are painful and ineffective and the arrogance of the advocates is irritating. There is a serious inconsistence in their various policies publicly and privately. Ever been to a University town and noticed all the spending on big, wasteful PR projects? How can anyone take such people seriously?

It's hard to take a group of people flying all around the world for meetings seriously when they tell me to ride a bike to work. Or that I use too much water when funding infrastructure maintenance is too hard. Or recycle when they won't fund it enough to make it doable for the average joe. Etc etc etc.
That's about the best message I've read this decade. It's not half done yet so could get edged out, but it will surely stay in my top 5.

Good words.

Paul
 

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I slow down and look. Slowing down is more to protect my vehicles from the jolt of uneven crossings. Looking is just because I look at every intersection, whether it's a road, railroad, or even a river.

I suspect many people don't look because they don't slow down and if there's a train they don't want to see it in the moment before it kills them.
 

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. All the other views are not even 30yd.
Well if you can only see 30 yards and the train is doing 70.. I would rather be crossing at a high speed and being on the tracks for very little time than having to accelerate in my old car from a stop to cross!

My house is 30ft from the train line and we have an ungated crossing (they're trying to remove it) I come to an almost stop the train comes through at about 30, visability is about 2 miles in one direction and half a mile in the other. But I still check. However in town there's a gated one, I would never stop before it, that would cause the car behind me to end up hitting me, not a good idea.
 
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Discussion Starter #19
Are you seriously trying to tell me that, if you slow to a stop in your area, the vehicle behind you is likely to run into you? What are they doing, looking for trains and not looking at the road?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
You are the second person on this thread to say it is dangerous to stop and look at RR crossings. Sorry, I find that humorous. :D
 
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