UPDATE: New Jersey Transit Was Under Investigation Prior to Hoboken Crash, Train Lacked Critical Safety Technology
In the aftermath of the Hoboken train crash, which killed a woman standing on the platform and injured more than 100 passengers, multiple news agencies are reporting that New Jersey Transit was under investigation by the Federal Railroad Administration prior to the accident. In addition, it has been reported that New Jersey Transit trains lack a critical safety technology called Positive Train Control, which may have prevented the crash had it been installed.
According to the New York Times, the Federal Railroad Administration commenced a safety audit of New Jersey Transit in June, after noticing an increase in safety violations. After completing the audit, the Federal Railroad Administration issued more than a dozen violations to New Jersey Transit.
Moreover, it has been reported that the train that crashed in Hoboken lacked Positive Train Control (“PTC”) technology. PTC allows trains to communicate with radio towers with regard to position and speed, preventing trains from traveling at unsafe speeds around turns and when approaching stations.
Despite the importance of PTC technology in preventing train crashes and accidents, the overwhelming majority of the country’s commuter and freight trains have yet to install it. Just last month, the Federal Railroad Administration issued a progress reported finding that only 9% of freight route miles and 22% of passenger train miles have PTC technology in place.
At this time, no New Jersey Transit trains have been outfitted with Positive Train Control. NJ Transit is the third-busiest commuter railroad in the nation.
According to the National Transportation Safety Board, Positive Train Control technology could have prevented the 2015 Amtrak train derailment that killed 8 passengers and injured over 200, including 11 who were critically injured.
The railroad industry has fought Congressional attempts to pass a law requiring all U.S. trains to have PTC technology, citing the costs involved.
The New Jersey Transit conductor who was driving the train has told investigators that he believes the train was travelling 10 miles per hour when it pulled into the station, but that he has no recollection of the accident. Eyewitnesses have reported that the train appeared to crash into the station at full speed.
If you or a loved one was injured in the Hoboken train crash, please call us at 201-798-3200 to learn about your legal rights in seeking compensation for your injuries.
Our New Jersey Transit Train Accident Attorneys have experience representing individuals hurt in train crashes. To set up a free consultation with a lawyer, call us today.