Fourteen people were injured Wednesday in a San Francisco streetcar crash on the F-line. According to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle, four streetcar passengers and two operators had to be transported to area hospitals after one of the city’s historic streetcars rear-ended the other.
The California Public Utilities Commission is investigating the bus accident. But an initial investigation by local authorities has shown that their own policy that streetcars should be operated a block apart was not followed properly. That is apparently the amount of space streetcar operators need to slow down safely.
The same internal investigation also reports that an official had warned Jeanette Molex, the streetcar operator involved in this crash, to maintain a safe distance between her vehicle and the streetcar operator in front of her earlier in the week after she was observed following to close Molex has been put on “nondriving status” after the California public bus accident. If I was representing the injured passengers, I’d want to see Molex’s personnel file. I would be looking for other indications that it was grossly negligent to this person driving streetcars at all.
Fortunately this San Francisco streetcar accident did not result in catastrophic injuries, which it easily could have. According to this news report, officials admit that more needs to be done to enforce safe operating practices when it comes to streetcars, cable cars and light-rail trains. Let’s hope the San Francisco officials do what is necessary to protect commuters and tourists using San Francisco’s mass transit systems.
Those injured in this San Francisco streetcar accident would also be well-advised to consult a California personal injury attorney to find out more about their rights and legal options. Remember that in California, a claim against a governmental agency must be properly filed within 180 days of an injury.
Municipal authorities must consider this streetcar accident as a dire warning and everything in their power to make sure that all streetcar and light-rail operators are trained to follow safety procedures. The time, effort, resources and money they put into such training will serve them well. It will not only keep safe the riding public to whom they owe the utmost duty of care, but it will also save transportation officials millions of dollars they may have to pay out as compensation to people who are injured in such public bus accidents.