In the wake of the recent deaths of two track inspectors who were struck by a train last month, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) officials have established stricter measures to protect its employees.
"We have an obligation to do what we can to protect our employees and we believe these additional safety measures will provide the added layers of protection so that at the end of the work day, everyone goes home to their families," said Jack Requa, acting general for WMATA.
Requa added that the agency worked closely with the National Transportation Safety Board to develop the stronger safeguards and that the agency will continue to look for ways to enhance safety.
The new measures require track inspectors to notify the operations control center when they are on the tracks. Control center staff members will then slow trains in the area to no greater than 20 mph when a train is within 600 feet of a track inspector. The inspections will also be performed between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., when fewer trains are running.
In locations where WMATA trains share one track, operators will be informed that track inspectors are in an immediate area so they can pay closer attention and flagmen will be positioned at the specific work site to let train operators know that there are track inspectors working in the area.