The National Transportation Safety Board approved sleep recommendations Wednesday for train engineers, following a report that the engineer of a New York train that derailed last year, killing four, had undiagnosed sleep apnea.
The safety board looked at five separate safety incidents and concluded that the Metro-North and the Long Island Rail Road should implement regular sleep disorder screenings. The board urged railroad associations and unions to collaborate to create an agreement for how to sleep disorders in personnel and sent recommendations to recommendations to the American College of Physicians and the American Association of Family Physicians to bolster awareness and understanding of sleep disorders in the medical community.
“In the process of preparing this report, we noted a rising trend in incidents and accidents in passenger rail,” said acting chairman Christopher A. Hart in a closing statement. “Today’s recommendations, in combination with those adopted during our investigations and earlier recommendations reiterated today, have the potential to reverse this trend–but only if they are acted upon.”
Since the board does not have the authority to enforce its recommendations, it also encouraged to Federal Railroad Administration to act upon it’s recommendations.