Sun, Sep 09, 2007 - Page 2 News List

TRA says it may seek damages from cyclist's estate

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

The nation's railway operator said yesterday it might seek compensation from the estate of a female cyclist who was killed by a a southbound Tzuchiang Express (No.1037) on Friday, as the incident affected dozens of trains operating that evening.

Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA) spokesperson Chang Ying-huei (張應輝) said that the train driver saw a woman on a bicycle crossing the railway tracks on the section between Ershui (二水) and Linnei (林內).

no time

He said the driver tried to warn the woman by activating the train whistle, but the driver did not have enough time to bring the train into a full stop to avoid hitting the woman.

Chang said that legal procedures require the TRA to halt train service immediately and wait for an investigation of the scene of the accident before operations can be resumed.

"Normally, the procedure takes about an hour. However, as the train was heading downhill at a speed of 125kph, it continued for another 1,950m after hitting the woman. Consequently, [the whole procedure] took about 100 minutes," he said.

The TRA said that the accident caused delays in the operation of 25 trains for a total of 1,087 minutes. Besides the train that was involved in the accident, another train was delayed for 108 minutes.

not liable

Chang said that the TRA was not liable for the accident and was therefore not under any obligation to give full refunds for tickets.

The TRA has been plagued by a number of accidents since the beginning of this month.

In light of these accidents, the Executive Yuan has formed a special task force last week to improve the quality of the TRA's services.

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