A father in the Philadelphia area was “busted” by police after he reportedly didn’t pay a subway fare for his young daughter, according to Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) Police.
The altercation between him and police is under scrutiny, writes NBC Philadelphia.
SEPTA Police Chief Thomas Nestel said Ellis Smith didn’t pay the $2.25 payment while entering the westbound tracks of SEPTA’s Market-Frankford El at the Margaret-Orthodox station Thursday afternoon. A cashier notified police which dispatched an officer to investigate.
Maryland lawmakers concerned about increasingly common rail shipments of crude oil through Maryland are calling for the state to conduct a full assessment of the risks and for railroads to be more transparent about their operations, according to The Baltimore Sun.
CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern bring train shipments of crude oil into Maryland, including to a barge terminal in South Baltimore’s Fairfield area and through Cecil County on the way to refineries in Delaware.
Legislation filed last week in Annapolis, Md. would require the state’s health and environment departments to establish statewide accident prevention, emergency response and contingency plans in the case of a major railroad disaster involving crude oil. It also would require both railroads to disclose more information about their crude shipments to the public.
Recently, a recent derailment of a CSX crude oil train during a snowstorm in West Virginia burned one home to the ground, forced hundreds of others to be evacuated, shuttered water treatment plants and sparked concern about pollution to the nearby Kanawha River, according to The Baltimore Sun.
Under a federal law that took effect in May, railroads are required to disclose to local jurisdictions the volumes, routes and frequency of all Bakken crude-oil shipments that are more than 1 million gallons. However, in the past, much of that information has been unavailable to the public in Maryland.
Signs on railway station platforms in Boston, New York and Toronto are intended to offer help to anyone who is emotionally distressed or suicidal — a last-ditch effort to keep people from taking a final, fatal step onto the train tracks.
Some experts say it’s time for the Chicago Metra system to consider adopting such a policy.
The Chicago area has a higher percentage of train fatalities that are suicides than the national average, said Northwestern University professor Ian Savage, who has done extensive research on the subject.
Nationally, about 30 percent of railroad-pedestrian fatalities are apparent suicides, versus 47 percent in the Chicago area, Savage said.
The latest Illinois Commerce Commission records show there have been 172 apparent railroad-related suicides in northeastern Illinois from 2004 to mid-2013.
Chicago is considering posting signs with hotline numbers and public awareness campaigns can be effective suicide countermeasures, said Scott Gabree, an engineering psychologist with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Volpe National Transportation Systems Center.
Also valuable is “gatekeeper training” of railroad employees and crews to enable them to spot suicide warning signs such as anxious behavior by people at stations and along tracks, Gabree said.
Although suicide by train is an individual act, officials say there are wide-reaching public consequences: Fatalities exact a heavy toll on train crews as well as on witnesses and emergency responders. The resulting investigations cause delays that can disrupt hundreds of commuters’ lives.