Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) has moved to make permanent a temporary moratorium on a procedure known as "simple approval" in which trackside workers are responsible for their own safety.
The procedure change follows the deaths of two BART trackworkers, BART employee Christopher Sheppard and BART contractor Laurence Daniels
Sheppard and Daniels were struck by an out-of-service BART train on October 19, between the Walnut Creek and Pleasant Hill stations, approximately one mile north of the Walnut Creek Station. The workers were performing track inspections in response to a report of a dip in the track at the time of the accident. Both had extensive experience working around moving trains in both the freight train and the rapid transit industry. The train was on a routine maintenance run and was being run in automatic mode under computer control.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is actively investigating all aspects of the tragedy.
Bay Area Rapid Transit General Manager Grace Crunican said, “BART will take whatever steps are necessary in order to prevent future tragedies.”
BART will solely use the more restrictive “work orders” procedures that require trains to stop or slow to 25 mph in areas where trackside workers may be present. BART may also consider an outside investigation of the events of October 19.