(Mike Koozmin/S.F. Examiner file photo)

(Mike Koozmin/S.F. Examiner file photo)

BART fined nearly $220K in 2013 deaths of two workers

BART has been found guilty of “egregious” violations leading to the 2013 deaths of two workers and was fined almost $220,000, the California Public Utilities Commission announced Friday.

The commission, a state regulatory agency, issued a decision by an administrative law judge that fined the agency $659,000, stayed two-thirds of the fine and put BART on probation for three years in lieu of the stayed fine, PUC spokesperson Terrie Prosper said in a statement.

BART must pay the remaining one-third of the stayed fine, $219,666.67, to the state’s general fund within 60 days, the judge ruled.

BART has the option to appeal the decision. A call to a BART spokesperson was not immediately returned.

The decision was issued in response to an incident on Oct. 19, 2013 in which a BART train hit and killed a BART manager and a BART contractor who were working on the tracks between the Walnut Creek and Pleasant Hill stations, Prosper said.

At the time, victims Laurence Daniels, 66, and Christopher Sheppard, 58, were checking on a report of a dip in a stretch of trackway.

The train that struck the men was being operated by a person in training, under direct supervision of an experienced trainer. There were no passengers onboard, according to an NTSB report conducted after the incident.

Friday’s decision finds that BART violated multiple safety rules and concludes that the violation are egregious, because they were committed by BART’s top-level veteran managers and reflected BART’s organizational and management culture and attitudes toward safety at the time of the incident, Prosper said.

During the three-year probationary period, BART must meet four conditions. The agency must track violations of safety rules and details of corrective actions and submit them to the commission, Prosper said.

Within six months, BART must re-evaluate its safety training programs and start improving them, the judge ruled. Also within six months, the transit agency must develop refresher courses on its safety rules and culture for managers who enforce safety rules and put them into practice.

As part of this, BART must annually submit certifications for every manager who completed the refresher to the commission.

Also, BART must annually brief the commission on its annual safety report and all updates on its efforts to improve compliance with safety rules, the judge ruled.

During the three-year probationary period, the commission’s safety and enforcement division will monitor BART’s compliance with the decision. When the three years are up, the division will recommend whether or not to extend the probation.Transit

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Giants second baseman Donovan Solano scores on a double in the seventh inning against the Dodgers at Oracle Park on July 29. (Chris Victorio/Special to The Examiner)
Will the Giants make the playoffs? Kris Bryant may be the answer

By Chris Haft Special to The Examiner You’d be hard-pressed to find… Continue reading

Tiffany Carter, owner of Boug Cali West Coast Creole Shack in San Francisco’s La Cocina Marketplace, was dismayed by gentrification she found when she returned to her hometown to start a business. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
SF Black Wallstreet: Helping residents build wealth, reclaim spaces they’ve had to leave

Tiffany Carter moved back to her hometown of San Francisco five years… Continue reading

A prescribed fire at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks was conducted in June 2016 to reduce hazardous fuel loading, increase watershed health, and restore the natural fire cycle in the Redwood Canyon area ecosystem. (Photo courtesy Rebecca Paterson/National Park Service)
Experts, UC scientists discuss wildfires in the state’s riskiest regions

Wildfires are nothing new in California’s history, but the magnitude and frequencies… Continue reading

Fourth-grade students at Lucerne Valley Elementary School don masks and Western wear for a “Walk Through California” history day during in-person instruction. (Courtesy of Krystal Nelson)
Confusion over mask mandate for California schools sparks tension between districts and parents

By Diana Lambert EdSource Shifting rules around mask mandates at schools are… Continue reading

Steven Buss, left, and Sachin Agarwal co-founded Grow SF, which plans to produce election voter guides offering a moderate agenda. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Grow SF: New tech group aims to promote moderate ideals to political newcomers

Sachin Agarwal has lived in San Francisco for 15 years. But the… Continue reading

Most Read