Do Amtrak Trains Need Seat Belts?

October 5, 2015

A southbound Amtrak train was derailed by an apparent rock slide on Monday Monday morning in central Vermont.

Several injuries were reported on Monday morning, but no fatalities. The derailment comes just five months after a derailment in Philadelphia which killed eight people and injured more than 200 others in one of Amtrak’s deadliest train accidents to date.Website Insert Passenger Trains Very Well copy

Survivors of that crash talked of being flung around in the cabin, luggage hitting people and seats coming loose and bouncing around in the carriage.

In February, a train derailed in Oxnard, CA after it collided with a pick up truck that had become stuck on the tracks. The train driver died and 30 other people were injured.

Related: Is Amtrak Safe to Ride? The Data on Train Accidents

One thing that always springs to mind around reports of a rail accident, is: Why are there are no seat belts on board passenger trains?

Why is this? And after this spate of accidents, are seat belts something that should be made compulsory?

“This has long been a concern,” said Deborah Hersman of the National Transportation Safety Board while discussing the Philadelphia crash.

Related: Is Amtrak Safe to Ride?

“When you look at the environment on trains, they aren’t required to restrain passengers or luggage.”

But surprisingly, most experts agree that seat belts on trains are actually a BAD idea.

A 2006 study by the Transit Cooperative Research Program into rail safety found that seat belts are not a practical option to improve passenger safety.

The full story by Sophie Forbes writing for Yahoo! Travel can be read by clicking here.

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