Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Where is this emergency brake?

A woman was very lucky to not be killed when she tried to board a departing train. I think the train won't move unless the doors are all shut, but perhaps the doors were near enough to be closed with only a couple of fingers jammed in between the doors. Never mind. Take a look at this snip from The Age and while is a presumable a direct quote, The Age needs to make sure such nonsense doesn't appear in print. Sergeant Tim Fletcher was quoted as saying:

"The train was still moving when she first fell between the tracks, but again due to the quick-thinking passengers who applied the emergency brake, it brought the train to a standstill which obviously saved her life," he said.

So where is this emergency brake inside Melbourne train carriages? 

Some more information added later made it clear it was the emergency intercom pressed by passengers which alerted the driver, who probably applied the emergency brakes.

Even the well resourced BBC World Service gets it wrong at times. After the Cyclone Pam hit Vanuatu, a BBC reporter said locals had no water and had taken to drinking sea water. Our less well resourced ABC Radio Australia's version is that the locals know they can get fresh water that percolates through limestone near the beach. I guess the BBC reporter saw a local coming from the beach with a bucket of water and then drinking from it. While not at all trivialising the terrible destruction the cyclone wrought on Vanuatu, Pacific Island people have been experiencing cyclones for a very long time.

12 comments:

  1. Sometimes I think that journalist have sworn a solemn vow to never let truth get in the way of a good story...

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    1. Quite true EC but media companies don't have the money they used to have and reporters are under extreme pressure to deliver things quickly. Error such as we now see would have picked up in the past by a proof reader or whatever. Now the reporter just files straight to the electronic media.

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    2. It is true, the budgets of small papers especially are so low, the papers put out are thin and cost a lot. They can't pay reporters much to spend time on anything in depth or even factual, not here anyway.

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    3. Strayer, we have sacrificed quality for speed and I don't think too many care.

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  2. I haven't thought about emergency brakes in trains for many years. I remember the pull cord of trains in my childhood, you see them sometimes still in old movies, someone pulls the cord and the driver puts the brakes on. the same as the pull cord on buses, used to signal the driver that you wished to de-bus at the next stop. One of our Adelaide buses still has this cord.
    The more modern emergency intercom button is a worry. What if no one is near enough to push one when there is a problem such as this woman being dragged along?

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    1. River, yes, that dirty rusty looking old chain to pull, with a threat of many pounds fine if it was misused. From American tv shows, I thought it put the brake on, but I expect it only sent a signal to the train driver.

      Sorry, but I never de-bus. I may very well alight from the bus though. Older Melbourne trams have cords to pull to alert the driver to stop at the next stop.

      Yes, it is quite a random thing about who is near the emergency button, but there are a few of them in each carriage.

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  3. The Great Scot rails about the press here in the States on a regular basis.
    Spelling? Abysmal
    Punctuation? Horrid
    Fact-checking? Nonexistent

    I'll take accurate, professional, and literate reporting over speedy any day.

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    1. Jac, I can well imagine the Great Scot railing against American media. But like media is so good back home? Accurate reporting is what our ABC tries to do, often missing the juicy headline because they are checking for accuracy.

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  4. Juicy headlines are what it's all about these days, some are so ridiculously OTT that I refuse to read the story because of them :) Speed wins over fact way too often. Responsible journalists are few and far between these days, to some degree the public's fault, it's what sells.

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    1. Grace, I agree. We are to blame for accepting such low standards.

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  5. So much news nowadays seems generated from social media (Twitter and Facebook anyone?). The race to be the first to reveal and spread 'news' leads to all manner of misreporting.

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    1. True Victor. As frustrating as it is at times, we do well to wait until our ABC reports with verified details.

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