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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation R-91-023
Details
Synopsis: ABOUT 3:13 A.M. EASTERN DAYLIGHT TIME, ON 8/9/90, NORTH BOUND NORFOLK SOUTHERN (NS) FREIGHT TRAIN 188 COLLIDED WITH SOUTHBOUND NS LOCAL FREIGHT TRAIN G-38 AT CONTROL POINT DAVIS NEAR SUGAR VALLEY, GEORGIA. THE CONDUCTOR ON TRAIN 188 & THE CONDUCTOR & ENGINEER ON TRAIN G-38 WERE FATALLY INJURED. THE TRAINMEN ON BOTH TRAINS & THE ENGINEER ON TRAIN 188 RECEIVED MINOR INJURIES. DAMAGE WAS ESTIMATED AT $1,268,680.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE FEDERAL RAILROAD ADMINISTRATION: ESTABLISH A REQUIREMENTS FOR MINIMUM MEDICAL STANDARDS FOR RAILROAD PERSONNEL IN THE RULE FOR "QUALIFICATIONS FOR LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEERS."
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Unacceptable Action
Mode: Railroad
Location: SUGAR VALLEY, GA, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA90MR008
Accident Reports: Collision and Derailment of Norfolk Southern Train 188 with Norfolk Southern Train G-38
Report #: RAR-91-02
Accident Date: 8/9/1990
Issue Date: 9/16/1991
Date Closed: 9/16/1993
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FRA (Closed - Unacceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FRA
Date: 9/16/1993
Response: THE BOARD RECOGNIZES THAT INDIVIDUAL CARRIERS MAY HAVE THEIR OWN MEDICAL POLICIES. HOWEVER, NO MECHANISM IS IN PLACE TO ENSURE THAT SUCH POLICIES ARE ENFORCED. ALSO, THE DESCRIPTIONS OF THESE MEDICAL POLICIES SHOW THE WIDE VARIATION IN QUALITY OF THESE MEDICAL EVALUATIONS. ONE CARRIER PROGRAM IN YOUR SUBMISSION, AMTRAK'S DEMONSTRATES THE CONCERN EXPRESSED BY THE BOARD. AS A RESULT OF ITS INVESTIGATION OF THE DECEMBER 17, 1991, PALATKA, FLORIDA, ACCIDENT, THE BOARD CONCLUDED THAT A COMBINATION OF MEDICATION, ILLNESS, AND PERHAPS POOR QUALITY SLEEP REDUCED THE ENGINEER'S ATTENTION LEVEL. THIS WAS A FACTOR IN THE INATTENTIVENESS OF THE ENGINEER THAT RESULTED IN THE ACCIDENT. THE BOARD STRONGLY BELIEVES THAT AT UNIFORM NATIONAL POLICY ON MINIMUM MEDICAL STANDARDS IS NECESSARY. BECAUSE THE FRA HAS DECLINED TO CONSIDER THE MATTER FURTHER, THE BOARD HAS CLASSIFIED RECOMMENDATION R-91-23 "CLOSED--UNACCEPTABLE ACTION."

From: FRA
To: NTSB
Date: 6/28/1993
Response: THE LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEER CERTIFICATION BECAME EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 17, 1991. THIS RULE REQUIRES THAT AFTER JANUARY 1, 1992, EACH LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEER MUST RECEIVE A PERIODIC EXAMINATION BY A QUALIFIED MEDICAL PERSON TO DETERMINE WHETHER HE OR SHE MEETS VISION AND HEARING ACUITY STANDARDS STATED IN TITLE 49 CFR PART 240.121. THESE STANDARDS ARE SIMILAR TO THOSE FOUND IN OTHER TRANSPORATION MODES, PUBLISHED FRA RESEARCH AND RECOMMENDED INDUSTRY GUIDELINES. THIS ACTION APPEARS TO FULFILL THE INTENT OF THIS RECOMMENDATION. TO THE EXTENT THAT MORE COMPREHENSIVE STANDARD NECESSARY, THE FRA DOES NOT BELIEVE THEM NECESSARY AT THIS TIME. . . . FURTHER, WE ARE NOT PERSUADED THAT SUCH A PROGRAM IS SO URGENT AS TO WARRANT REDIRECTION OF EXISTING RESOURCES.