I would like to extend a warm welcome to everyone here today, including:
FTA Director, Office of Safety and Security, Mike Flanigon;
FRA Acting Administrator, Karen Rae;
WMATA Assistant Deputy Manager, Gerald Francis;
Tri-State Oversight Committee (TOC) Chairman, Eric Madison;
FRA Director, Office of Safety Assurance and Compliance, Ed Pritchard;
…and especially family members who have lost loved ones in rail transit accidents. We gather here today to introduce a new training film to help protect transit workers on track right-of-way.
If this film saves one life, it is well worth the effort and investment. But, if it is distributed widely, and the safety lessons are taught aggressively, it has the potential to save many lives.
Accidents involving the men and women who work on rail transit systems are preventable. The consequences of these accidents are unacceptable. Family, friends and co-workers are all be deeply affected.
I believe that with the proper procedures, training, and oversight, these kinds of accidents can be stopped.
As many of you are aware, in 2006, two serious accidents occurred right in our own backyard. Metro rail employees were struck and fatally injured while inspecting track and maintaining the system. (Dupont Circle and Eisenhower Avenue) We investigated these accidents and made recommendations for safety improvements. Mr. Catoe’s communications to us have been positive, and I believe that he is serious about improving safety on Washington’s Metro system. In fact, lessons learned from both of these accidents have been captured in the training film.
We have investigated a number of other accidents where track workers were injured -- and I fully support the development of new ideas to promote training and safety awareness. This program can be a powerful new tool.
I congratulate the Federal Transit Administration and the industry for producing “A Knock at Your Door.” And, a special thank you to the families who lost relatives in rail transit accidents and who have supported the development of this training film, so that others may learn.
I am confident that this film will help to save lives.
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