The absent mind - Attention and error
Ian H. Robertson gave the Myers Lecture at the 2003 Annual Conference – Now pay attention.
At 17.24 on 8 August 1996 the London Euston to Milton Keynes train passed through a red signal near Watford Junction and ploughed into an empty goods train, killing my colleague Ruth Holland, an associate editor of the British Medical Journal. The driver of the train was later cleared of criminal charges for having passed the red signal; the court accepted his defence that trees and bushes had obscured it. He also told the court that he could not remember seeing two early warning signals that would have told him to expect a red light at the next signal point.
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