No Train Runs After The Autos, Published 15 May 1959I still say no train ever ran up the street and attacked a car.
Yet here we have our aldermen playing their petty politics with railway crossings.
Let a fellow drive on the railway track, with the train coming, with the whistle blowing, with the bell ringing, with every possible chance of seeing the train, and your city hall stooge bleats with pity and rushes for the headlines.
There ought to be a law, he cries. These vicious, irresponsible trains are going too fast; this has got to stop. And so on, and so on, ad nauseam.
For the moment I am not going to argue the validity of the old advice: Stop, Look, and Listen. Except to say, that if everybody did that, few cars would be hit by trains.
Consider how the railways got here. They took property at an earlier time. They paid for it. They paid taxes on it. They still do
Not only do they pay taxes for their own property, they are obliged to spend additional millions to keep foolish folks from running into trains.
I have a friend in Vancouver - and he a lawyer, too - and he was driving his car home one night, when the train was coming. The flashing lights came on. The watchman, paid by the railway, lowered the gates. Did all this stop my learned friend? No. Next thing he knew, he had the front of his car smashed against the now stopped train. The moral is that even guards and gates cannot stop motorists from hitting trains.
But one alderman now wants to slow the trains down in cities to 10 miles an hour.
I would like to take our aldermen on a trip to Toronto. I can imagine our pool train slowing down for Belleville, and Trenton, and Cobourg, and Port Hope and Oshawa and why go on?
Imagine the horror of going to Windsor and creeping through every Western Ontario city with such rules.
As I said before, no train leaves the rails to attack you. Yet trucks, buses and private cars offer a continuous threat to any motorist.
If you follow this to its ultimate absurdity we would have to stop people driving lest they hit us.
Cross Town On Crossings, Published 29 June 1959Ald. Murray Heit has something to say about trains and level crossings. He would like to see uniformity in level crossing signals all over the south bank of the Rideau River, as well as some temporary measures until the Queensway is finished.
Dr. Heit denies that his recent outcry was the desire to campaign for next civic election.
"I may not always be doing the right thing, or saying the proper thing, but there is one point which I would stress to you - I am trying."
It would be easier to float, to do nothing, he said.
He still deplores affairs where innocent passengers get killed in level crossing accidents and would like to do all he can to prevent such crashes.