Burlington Northern Trespass tickets

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by redlodge, Jun 5, 2014.

  1. With the top three impact situations being walking, standing and sitting, it sounds more like a mental health/substance abuse issue than a dudes trying to get to the river issue. Sure a few of them were probably just trying to access water, but I'm willing to bet a good portion were under the influence or really wanted to hug a train.

    No comment on the one guy who was sleeping on the tracks.
  2. More people died lying/sitting on tracks than walking on them -- it has to be a mental / drug issue.

    People die doing stupid shit all the time. Call me a douche bag but if you're lying down on rail tracks and not able to get out of the way of a train you're an idiot, not a tragedy.
    fredaevans and troutdopemagic like this.
  3. Compare and contrast those 57 RR track fatalities with say, the number of pedestrian fatalities on streets and roads in the same time period. Whatever the number is, I bet a large percentage of the fault was with the motor vehicle operator. How many of the 57 were the fault of the RR? I'd guess zero.

    Personal responsibility needs to be a big part of the equation, although if that were applied the RR cops might be out of a job. I do have kids, adults now. I suspect that they survived this long in large part by not doing stupid shit. A teen or young adult walking along the RR tracks with their ear buds plugged in and the tunes cranked up loud might just as well put a target on their back that says "Hit me."

    I knew there was something wrong with this story about the RR trespassing issue the moment I read it. What's wrong is the implication that the RR is liable for every injury and death that occurs along the tracks. Maybe they are responsible for some, but they sure as hell aren't responsible if a fisherman crossing the tracks to get to the river gets hit. Fishermen that dumb don't belong on the tracks or on the river or on the road.
    JesseC, Greg Armstrong and golfman44 like this.
  4. There's that "R" word again; "Responsibility"
    Well said Salmo.
    golfman44 likes this.
  5. But that's my point. The way things work in this country. You don't really have to be at fault to be sued.
    Just trying to offer a different viewpoint. No offense taken.
  6. Using blanket statements calling people smart asses and wrongly assuming ages of others (w/ negative implications) isn't you "just trying to offer a different viewpoint", but I won't go there.

    Anyways, back to the issue at hand: if anybody restricted to bank angling wants a float on the sky (my boat) let me know and we can try to work something out since this RR issue is quite the kick in the nuts. I can probably do an evening float mon, wed, thurs this week.
    scottr likes this.
  7. Was up at Wallace today. Sheriff drove by when I was gearing up and didn't stop to tell me to move along or not cross the tracks. Later another angler rolled up and told me the old lady in the corner house was yelling at everyone at 5am this morning about using her driveway and telling them that BNSF was writing trespassing tickets everyone who crossed the tracks. Fishing was slow & there were too many sleds running up/down the river.

    I understand the liability/issues with people getting hit (I think a number of these incidents are drunks/druggies or suicides) but I have an issue with the RRs effectively being able to deny the public access to massive swaths of public land. RRs were largely given their land/easements by the Gov't (our public land) in the interest of bettering the country. Seems to be a violation of the public trust doctrine.
    triploidjunkie and golfman44 like this.
  8. If you could mitigate 57 deaths a year, why wouldn't you? 57 is not a huge number unless you or your loved ones are one of them.

    I don't like the change, but understand it.

    There is a great hiking trail in the timber land behind my house. I don't want you to come through my yard to access it. I hope you enjoy it from some other access point.
    Drifter likes this.
  9. You can spin it anyway you want but the reality is ticketing fisherman for crossing railroads doesn't prevent suicides/drunks/druggies
  10. And you can spin it how you wish. You have no way to support that these deaths were all suicides/drunks/druggies. Some may have been, and you may not be able to mitigate that human loss as easily. You've not provided any support that these deaths did not include children, recreationalists or others that did not go to the tracks with the intent to die.

    I get loss of access sucks. Make your choices, take your chances and accept the outcomes.
    Drifter likes this.
  11. Ed you're trying to draw a connection between people walking through some woods behind your house to people lying down and dying on railroad tracks

    I think that about sums up how crazy the "other side" of the argument is.

    My apologies to those without a boat
  12. As a correction: Unless I am misreading something, it's not 57 deaths a year in WA. It's ~20 deaths a year in WA according to the data in Jeff's link:


    As to the larger "Don't we want to prevent these deaths?" thought process...

    That problem with walking down this path is that it can be used to justify taking away all sorts of things. Motorcycles, alcohol, guns, swimming pools. Nationwide ~130 people die each year in a swimming pool. One could guess that virtually all of them are accidents and many of them are children. Do we make swimming pools illegal? Do we ticket anyone in a pool without a life vest?

    Accidental deaths suck. Suicide and even Darwin award deaths are tragic, particularly when you think of the victim being someone's family member. But loss of freedoms due to the country spiraling to the lowest common denominator is terrible in it's own, perhaps larger, way. Litigation, while useful and fair in some cases, has become overused and turned into a get-rich scheme far too often. There is a very real danger that everything that doesn't fit some actuarial table for safety will be legislated and litigated out of life. And that would be a shame for everyone.
  13. BNSF alone controls 32,000 miles of train tracks. Those tracks go along a number of major rivers including the Skykomish, Wenatchee, Yakima, Deschutes, Kettle, Lower Columbia and tribs.

    When you factor the amount of public land railroads have easements along rivers in the USA, wide scale trespassing enforcement has a significant public impact.
    Salmo_g, golfman44 and triploidjunkie like this.
  14. This is bullshit. I swear we need to start making our law officers start wearing red coats.
    triploidjunkie likes this.
  15. Really!!!! Railroad Federal offense which is punishable by jail time and fines
  16. The only way to really fix this conflict is to give the railroads a waver against trespass death lawsuits. How about that?
    fredaevans, Salmo_g, Drifter and 2 others like this.

  17. Seems like the paths of least resistance. There are probably not enough people who care or are impacted by the issue to take action to fight the issue of RRs blocking access to public lands.
  18. Double post whoops
  19. Railroads are non-government private corporations (sometimes publicly traded) with private law enforcement sectors that are granted federal, state, and local law enforcement jurisdiction. Imagine if Starbucks had it's own police department




  20. i know for a fact one of those deaths in WA was due to substance abuse & suicide, not fishing, because it was ~20 min from Pasco about 3 months ago and the toxicology report confirmed the substance abuse part.
    golfman44 likes this.

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