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Published on Nov 3, 2008
Several times a day the trains of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad pass through Norman, Oklahoma.
Observe that the horn is blasting even as the locomotive is crossing the gated intersection. This is very common.
Over the years their horns have become louder. Sometimes they sound like a howling herd of stampeding elephants. This is probably because car stereos and radios, which are another noise nuisance in the community, have become louder and the railroad operators want their horns to be heard by these drivers.
DEATH OF A STUDENT IN COLLISION WITH A TRAIN
In 2004, a University of Oklahoma student named Mark Goodnight died after his automobile collided with a train in Norman.
In a letter to the editor of the campus newspaper, his sister Kari Goodnight commented on the death of her brother. Go here for the letter and see the last two scans on page 2:
She said that, according to the investigating officer, Mark was driving between 25 and 28 miles per hour when he slammed on his brakes and skidded into the path of the train.
Why didn't Mark see the train and the flashing red lights and hear the loud bells before it was too late?
His sister Kari provides a big clue when she writes:
"I have driven over those tracks myself, and I never hear the bells if I am listening to my radio. The train whistle seems to blend in with the music and the flashing lights rarely catch my attention because they are so far off to the side of the road."
Kari appears to be making an argument for even LOUDER train horns so that she and her friends can listen to their LOUD car stereos and still hear them.
In all likelihood, her brother died because he was distracted by the noise of his loud car stereo or radio. David Boren, the president of OU, has tolerated boom cars on that campus ever since they started showing up.
Research has demonstrated that loud auto stereos impair drivers' ability to respond quickly to objects emerging in the peripheral vision field. This is exactly consistent with Kari Goodnight's report that "flashing lights rarely catch my attention because they are so far off to the side of the road." The research was reported in New Scientist, July 19, 1997, by Laura Spinney.
VIDEOS ABOUT BOREN'S QUEERNESS AND CLARKE STROUD'S GOOFINESS: