A train company has been fined £1 million for breaching health and safety duties after a passenger was killed leaning out of a window on a Gatwick Express train.
Train enthusiast Simon Brown, 24, was hit by a gantry while he leaned out the window as the train approached Wandsworth Common station on August 7, 2016.
Govia Thameslink Railway, which runs the service, pleaded guilty to a health and safety breach at a previous hearing in May over Mr Brown’s death.
It was found there had been no guard on the train to monitor the use of the window, which had been left unlocked.
Okay. A significant part of the suburban network is driver only, so has no guard. There are still HSTs running about (although dwindling) with door windows that slide open. The point being, that if someone really wants to stick their head out of the window, it’s pretty much impossible to stop them.
What this case has done is send a strong message that we don’t do personal responsibility in this country. That adults need to be cosseted and nannied because they are too stupid to exercise some common sense and personal responsibility. This was a tragedy, but to blame the train operator is wrong. There was no tort here. There was no negligence. The dangers inherent in sticking one’s head out of the window of a moving train are obvious. If I was sufficiently heartless, I’d say that it was Darwin in action.
What we see here is a corruption of English Common Law and it is a sad reflection of the state of our society that this even came to court.
Expect even more nannying and petty health and safety rules as a consequence, as organisations try to protect themselves from the impossible – the infinite capability of the general public to find a hitherto unexpected method of self-dispatch as a consequence of rampant stupidity.