Maybe Walking on Train Tracks Isn’t Such a Good Idea

Headphones and Train Tracks

This is a bad idea of epic proportions.

In just over the span of a month, two teenagers in my area have been killed by walking on train tracks while wearing headphones. Almost certainly, the kids simply couldn’t hear the trains coming over the music they were listening to. While I feel for the friends and family of these unfortunate kids, by watching the media reports of the accidents, I get the feeling that we’re about to see some blame being shifted to the technology.

I don’t know about you, but when I was young, my parents emphasized to me just how dangerous train tracks could be. From their lessons, there would be no way in hell I would think about walking on train tracks, much less do it while listening to headphones! Still to this day, on the rare occasion that I need to walk across train tracks, I don’t mess around with them. Even though where we live there are many fewer train tracks than there were when I was growing up (most of them have been turned into bike trails) I’ve taken the time to talk to both my daughters about the dangers of train tracks.

Certainly, the problem isn’t listening to music. The problem is listening to music while in a potentially dangerous situation. And to be fair, I’ve not heard anyone directly blaming the technology for these horrible accidents. But these are the types of situations that big government politicians love to sink their teeth into. So don’t be surprised if we see a politician or candidate bring up some sort of initiative to ban kids wearing headphones in public or some other such nonsense. It’s exactly the sort of measure that will accomplish almost nothing while taking away precious law enforcement resources to infringe on the rights of free people. It would also serve to reinforce in our young people that government is here to run your life and it is OK to sacrifice rights in the name of protecting people from themselves. While incidents like these are tragic, the continual erosion of our freedoms is more tragic.