On May 17, the National Transportation Safety Board issued three reports involving a derailment, rear-end collision and an incident where a hi-rail maintenance vehicle struck two wayside workers on Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority property.
In response to NTSB’s findings, WMATA General Manager and CEO Richard Sarles issued the following statement:
“We welcome the National Transportation Safety Board’s thorough reviews of these incidents, which serve as important reminders of our number one priority ‘safety.’ We also appreciate the acknowledgment that WMATA has already taken the necessary actions to improve safety in advance of these reports.
“Among the many actions taken and programs that Metro has put in place over the last two years, one of the most important initiatives that protects our wayside employees is the creation of the roadway worker protection (RWP) safety training program. Since its inception in August 2010, more than 8,500 Metro employees and contractors have been trained or recertified in the program administered by our Rail Training and independent Safety Department. In other actions, we have already retrofitted our fleet of WMATA-owned hi-rail vehicles with audible alarms to protect track workers, as well as installed additional and more direct lighting.
“These steps, combined with significant progress in scores of other safety categories, have resulted in a safer workplace for our employees and a safer ride for the passengers who depend on us.”