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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 2, Issue 5 (September 1, 1927)

The Locomotive Driver And The Reckless Motorist

The Locomotive Driver And The Reckless Motorist.

“Engineer Dies at the Wheel,” was the headline in a New York newspaper over an item telling of the sudden death of an engine man in the cab of his locomotive (says D. T. and I. Railroad News).

“The automotive point of view which was responsible for the above is sadly out of place in this instance.

As a matter of fact, an increasing number of veteran enginemen who should have many full years of service ahead of them are dropping out because of the battering attack of numerous amateur motorists who speed along the highways of the nation at the wheels of automobiles and pile up at grade crossings disputing the right of way.

Heart failure is the award of many an engineer for long years behind the throttle. And to hold his job the engineer must pass periodically a series of the severest examinations, whie the tyro on the highway needs only a little time and money to procure a license that will permit him a wide range of action, subject to only a few scattering and more or less unenforced regulations.”

“I want the employee to realise that in his own interest it is desirable he should look where he walks, look where he puts his head or arm, keep an alert mind and realise that if his own carelessness involves him in an accident, he is not merely doing harm to himself, but to his relatives and the community at large, and he is placing a further burden upon industry as a whole.”—The Rt. Hon. Sir William Joynson-Hicks.

Don't slide down ladders or perform “smart” tricks on them. Such departure from safety principles has cost many painful accidents. Ladders and steps should be fixed firmly and ascended and descended in the safe way only—step by step.

Don't use the mouth as a receptacle for holding small nails or screws. Apart from the risk of disease infection the practice is dangerous in that some of the nails or screws are liable to be swallowed, and become lodged in the windpipe. When using small nails, screws and tacks place them in safe and proper receptacles.