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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 2, Issue 7 (November 1, 1927)



In her recently published and very interesting “Lay Sermons” Margot Asquith, the distinguished wife of Britain's former Prime Minister, makes the following important observations on carelessness: “If you probe the matter at all profoundly,” she says, “you will find half the troubles, most of the accidents and many of the catastrophes come from carelessness. Carelessness is a difficult word to analyse. It belongs to no particular category, and may be found equally distributed among the clever and the stupid, the weak and the strong, the drab and the famous and men who have or have not got either character, intellect or soul. It does not come from lack of intellect; some of the most profound thinkers, the most learned philosophers, and the greatest professors have been notorious for their absence of mind.”

No one is perhaps more constantly reminded of the truth of the widespread nature of carelessness (and of the price that has to be paid for it) than the railwayman. It is the recognition of this flaw in the mental constitution of man which is at once the justification and the inspiration of the “Safety First” movement. By concentrating on this problem of carelessness as the primary cause of accidents-to ourselves and others-we are performing a service which brings benefit to ourselves, our families, our fellows, to the Department we serve, and to the community as a whole.

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