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Mass transit, safety regulations, and traffic violations

Getting a speeding or traffic ticket may not be fun, but readers can probably appreciate that lawmakers’ concern for the public’s safety is probably a rationale behind many such citations.

Compliance with traffic laws is especially vital for mass transit operators, who are entrusted with the safety of their passengers. Readers may recall the derailing incident of a Metro-North Railroad commuter train last year in the Bronx, killing four passengers and injuring 70 more. The crash happened when the train rounded a curve in the Bronx at 82 mph. The posted speed limit for that curve was 30 mph.

According to recently released report by the National Transportation Safety Board, the train engineer may have had an undiagnosed case of severe obstructive sleep apnea. Notably, train operators are required to get annual physical exams and disclose any medical conditions or medications they might be taking. It’s unclear whether the engineer in this case had complied with all applicable procedures.

An attorney that specializes in traffic citations knows that there can be consequences for failing to comply with special regulations that may apply to mass transit operators, including bus drivers, truck drivers, and train engineers. From vehicle servicing requirements to staying current on special licensing requirements, such operators could face liability for failing to meet these obligations. Yet even someone with a normal driver’s license must take care to avoid fines or citations associated with that driving privilege. Potential traffic violations or citations could arise from expired licenses or vehicle registrations, as well as the more obvious examples of failing to abide by traffic lights or speed limits.

Source: Poughkeepsie Journal, “Feds: Engineer with Rhinebeck ties in Metro-North derailment had sleep disorder,” Theresa Juva-Brown and Khurram Saeed, April 7, 2014