August 30, 2008

Sun-Sentinel makes another Bozo-no-no

The Sun-Sentinel continues to show its perpetual lack of editorial intelligence in today's edition, wherein they report that a train clipped an automobile.

So what's the problem? It implies that the Train was the Prime Motivator, instead of the automobile. In fact, the train was not the motivator, the CAR was the one in the wrong.

You see, a TRAIN runs on a TRACK: it can't steer, which means that it can't swerve to avoid something, or swing in to hit something. It just runs along its track. And it can take hundreds of yards to stop, which is why they have those big gates at those crossings, with the chimes and flashing lights.

A car, on the other hand, doesn't run on a track; it can move all over the road, or parking lot, or sidewalk, or any reasonable flat surface. It can stop in a relatively short distance.

This means that the TRAIN didn't do ANYTHING; the CAR did, and the Sun-Sentinel's story is misleading because of its phrasing. The train didn't clip the car, the car got in the way of the train.

The driver of the car claims that a car behind them nudged them onto the tracks. Of course, that would mean that the driver of that other car pushed them through the crossing gates. It's far more likely that 67 year old Lucille Gargano ignored the descending gate, and then realized she couldn't get across the tracks, and backed up into the car stopped at the gates.

In either case, the train, and Tri-Rail, took no action that resulted in this accident. The Sun-Sentinel and its reporter, Joel Marino, fail to get the basic facts in order.

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