Understandable reaction

A Melbourne “miracle baby” who escaped death when his pram rolled into the path of an oncoming train has celebrated his first birthday.

No doubt, the baby was incredibly lucky not to be killed. If you haven’t seen it, check out the video — it’s just amazing. I hope the train driver, who I would think must have been traumatised, has also recovered.

But this paraphrased quote from the mother caught my eye:

Despite the positive outcome, Shweta has not taken her son near a train station since the accident and is now learning to drive.

The Age

It’s an understandable reaction. Such a traumatic incident would have anybody wondering how they could possibly avoid such a situation in the future.

But the implication here is that driving is somehow safer than catching a train. It isn’t. Not by a long shot.

While what happened to Shweta and her son must have been an absolutely horrific thing to live through, as I’ve written before, driving is far more dangerous than rail travel: about 5 times as dangerous, whether measured by passenger kilometres or passenger hours.

(Indeed, passenger rail fatalities are so low that the debate of safety on trains is concentrated almost solely on personal safety and crime.)

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

9 replies on “Understandable reaction”

Looking at the article it sounds more like she doesn’t want to be reminded of the accident every time she rides a train, not that she’s implying cars are safer.

The only problem with the media making a celebrity out of the mother/baby is that you can get attention-seeking idiots who fabricate situations in an attempt to gain the same publicity. And someone can really get hurt. e.g. Australia’s “funniest” home video.

You might be right Erica. To draw an analogy from today’s news, a plane crash survivor might be very reluctant to fly again, despite the statistical risk being so low.

Roger, I’d have thought the safety message from the video (which was why they released it) was a far greater positive than any possible negative.

yeah, you’re right Daniel.
One million people getting a good safety message no doubt out-weighs the chance that some fool will try a silly stunt to gain publicity.
Point taken!!

I remember seeing this on Facebook! And I don’t think the media is trying to make celebrities out of the mother and child. I’m sure that experience is very traumatic. I mean I, myself, with no relations to the people in the video am somewhat traumatized by it. I think the media is just trying to advocate safety.

screen barriers? no way! we are more than ready to use our common sense and the brakes our prams are already equipped with!

I can completely understand the mother.
I was in a bad car accident over 20 years ago and I still do not drive (I had a problem BEING in a car, never mind thinking about driving).

The suggestion of going back to whatever you are scared of is a great idea but not possible in my case. I could not physically go back and drive (because of injuries). I am finally thinking about taking lessons now (I kept my license but I hate taking the bus).

My suggestion to that mother is, go back to taking the train, even if you have to have someone with you, holding your hand!!!!!
Work on your fear!!!!!!! You are not alone. You will be a better person for it and a better mother for it too.

j :):)

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