By now, everyone is probably familiar with the theory of the rookie driver derailing the train by attempting to speed through the curve, as well as the story of several JR employees going bowling on the night of the accident, but get a load of this:
An obsession with being on time was also seen in the behavior of two JR West drivers who were aboard the derailed train. The drivers, neither of whom was hurt in the accident, left the scene without helping to rescue passengers and headed straight to work.
According to JR West officials, one of the two called his supervisor by cell phone to say he had been on the derailed train. But the supervisor did not instruct him to rescue any of the injured and instead said, “Make sure you’re not late.”
The 27-year-old driver later confessed in writing that he was sorry for doing nothing to help.
“When I think back calmly now, I was irresponsible not only as a JR employee but as a human being,” he said.
But the whole point is that he wasn’t irresponsible as a JR employee, right?
It’s a fairly interesting article, even if it does lay it on a bit thick with the “overpunctual society” line. Yes, “Japanese people should adopt a more relaxed way of living,” but even if they manage to pull this off with some mystical wand of compassion and understanding, it probably won’t magically prevent train derailments for the foreseeable future. Just to be contrary, I offer this: As long as it’s safe, there’s nothing wrong with the trains being on time, guys. Not a goddamn thing. Ah, but the poor drivers get stressed out! They have to pick weeds and greet incoming trains like common peasants! I hear you. Life’s a bitch, ain’t it? It seems that the problem is with the drivers training programs, and to allow JR to ultimately place the blame on society instead of improving their training programs is just plain wrong.
Here’s the link to the full article: Train crash reveals fatal flaw of obsession with punctuality