San Francisco Muni implements new safety standards!

Legal news information for California government claims attorneys. Muni operators given new strict rules for operating light rail trains.

A federal investigation was launched into the SFMTA light rail trains after the tragic California train crash.

San Francisco, CA—Following the July 18, 2009 San Francisco Muni light rail crash which injured 50 people; the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) has announced implementation of new safety guidelines, as reported by CBS.

The new safety action plan, which was launched on Monday, was designed to boost safety and to remind employees and operators of SFMTA policies pertaining to operating modes of light rails. The SFMTA is strongly enforcing the new polices which include:
• Train operators will be written up if an operator is seen driving a light rail train in manual, or cutout mode without having proper authorization from central control.
• If a train is observed in manual mode without proper authorization from central control, the train operator will stop the train and contact the train’s operator.
• Announcements are currently being made hourly to train operators reminding them to not operate the trains in manual mode, bypass vehicle functions, or change tracks without obtaining permission from central control.

The new rules and regulations followed the launch of a federal investigation into the San Francisco train crash. The train operator, Henry Gray, reportedly black out after he switched the L-Taraval train into manual mode just 24 seconds before the train crashed into the K-Ingleside train. The Muni trains are supposed to operate in automatic mode while traveling through stations. It is a common practice among Muni drivers to switch to manual mode when traveling through a station. Operators switch to manual mode to speed up the service for passengers, which usually takes several minutes in automatic mode to stop at a train station. A full federal investigation is expected to take nearly a year to compete.

Nicole Howley-Legal news for California attorneys offering legal counsel in government claims.