Transit Administration Issues National Roadway Worker Advisory

Following the NTSB's recommendation, it agrees with the NTSB that "all rail transit systems are at risk for roadway worker fatalities and injuries."

The Federal Transit Administration, part of DOT, on Jan. 8 published a safety advisory about transit roadway workers' protection. Based on Dec. 19, 2013, NTSB recommendations, it is meant to protect transit agencies' workers who are in transit rights-of-way.

Two Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) roadway workers died on Oct. 19, 2013, when they were struck by a 60 mph transit train; their backs were turned to the oncoming train, according to FTA. They were working under BART's "simple approval" policy, which that agency rescinded after the fatalities.

During the past decade, 28 workers have died in U.S. transit rights-of-way, and the NTSB has investigated deaths or serious injuries of workers recently in Boston, Chicago, Houston, Miami, New York, Sacramento, and Washington, D.C., the advisory states, calling it a "critical safety challenge in front of us." FRA's advisory agrees with the NTSB that "all rail transit systems are at risk for roadway worker fatalities and injuries."

FTA has asked every state safety oversight agency, in coordination with its transit agencies, to complete a right-of-way worker protection assessment checklist by Feb. 28, 2014. Using those data, by May 16, 2014, FTA will formulate a comprehensive response to the NTSB recommendations, its states.

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