Thursday, December 4, 2008

Please pay attention while you're driving the train I'm on

I ride the red line round trip every day. Its not my favorite thing in the world, but its passable. I read the Express, I do the crossword or sudoku, or read from the latest book I'm reading.

The night train is peaceful, but usually ends up picking some Metro workers between the White Flint and Grosvner/Strathmore stop. Last night, an off duty Metro worker is riding the train. This is usually no big deal and pretty common. Last night would have been no different except for one thing: the Metro worker propped open the door to the driver's cabin with his foot and they were chatting.

I ride in the front car because the red line in particular makes me motion sick. It helps to be able to see out to the track ahead. But today I was disturbed. A driver who killed and injured people in Los Angeles had been distracted by texting. A conversation with someone seated behind you cannot be much different.

Am I overreacting? Maybe. But I've never seen an off duty person chatting with the driver while the train was moving full speed. The Metro workers beside the tracks? The get on, tap the door to tell the driver they're on, and we're all on our way.

There has to be some kind of rule against this. I mean, the WMATA has instituted a random bag search to enhance security. Don't you think that focusing while you are driving the fucking train is also important to enhance security?

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