In December, an Amtrak train from Portland, Oregon derailed off a bridge outside of Tacoma, Washington, killing 3 victims and injuring over 60 others. In the wake of the tragic crash, initial investigations have showed that the train was traveling nearly 50 miles per hour over the speed limit when the incident happened – a discovery many safety advocates say should never happen with the advent of new technology and policies.
In recent years, train accidents like the Washington Amtrak derailment have happened frequently across the U.S., often with devastating results. This includes a 2015 Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia that killed 8 victims and injured more than 200 passengers, and a Metrolink collision in Chatsworth, California that resulted in 25 deaths and 135 injuries. In both of these crashes, engineers had become distracted. Federal officials also stated they could and should have been prevented.