Learning English - Words in the News
24 September, 2008 - Published 11:23 GMT
No mobiles for Californian rail workers
Rail workers in California have been banned from using cell phones while trains are moving - after 25 people were killed in a crash near Los Angeles two weeks ago. Investigators say the train engineer was sending text messages while at work. Rajesh Mirchandani reports:
Investigators have concluded engineer Robert Sanchez - who was in charge of a busy passenger train - failed to apply the brakes before a red light and ploughed into an oncoming freight train. 25 people, including Sanchez, died and more than 130 were hurt in the collision in Chatsworth, north of Los Angeles. Sanchez was sending text messages from his mobile phone that day and some teenagers told a local news station they received one such message from him one minute before the crash.
The California Public Utilities Commission, which regulates transportation in the state, has now banned rail employees from using mobile phones while working on a moving train. If they do so, they could now face a fine of up to $20,000. The measure strengthens an existing ban issued by the train company.
It was also partly prompted by another crash in June - then 14 people were hurt when two San Francisco trams collided. Investigators believe one of the drivers in that accident may also have been using a mobile phone.
Rajesh Mirchandani, BBC News, Los Angeles
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