Senators take NTSB to task

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

WASHINGTON – Five U.S. senators have asked the National Transportation Safety Board to conduct a review of the implementation of sleep apnea testing for engineers for all passenger railroads. In a letter to NTSB Chairman Christopher Hart, Democratic Sens. Bob Menendez and Cory Booker of New Jersey, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut note that operator fatigue and sleep apnea have been cited in recent train crashes, including a fatal crash in Hoboken, N.J., last September, and is being looked at in conjunction with a recent crash in Brooklyn. "What's even more concerning than the slow progress railroads are making is an apparent growing trend of railroads pledging to implement sleep apnea testing and inward cameras only after a derailment has occurred on their system," the senators wrote in the letter.