Metro Train Operators are Running Red Lights

By Peter DePaolis

Late last month, a Metro train operator ran a red light at the Shady Grove rail yard at approximately 5:30 a.m. Although the train did not have any passengers aboard, it was the third red-light violation by a Metro driver in two weeks. Just the day before, Metro ordered safety meetings to address the red-light violations on the tracks.

The concern about red-light running is justified. In February 2010, a Metro train operator ran a red light at the Farragut North station. The train automatically derailed in order to avoid a train accident, but the incident stranded approximately 300 passengers in the tunnel and three people suffered injuries.

After the most recent incident, Metro ordered a “safety stand-down,” requiring all train operators and supervisors to review the rules and procedures of operation. A Tri-State Oversight Committee (TOC) spokesperson said that a train running a red light is akin to a vehicle doing the same thing during rush hour. The severity of the violation depends on how far the train goes past the signal, said the spokesperson.

Another TOC spokesperson said that Metro officials are taking the red-light violations more seriously. Metro will conduct safety briefing sessions and be more vigilant about safety management, according to the TOC.

A Washington, D.C. personal injury lawyer can help if you suffer injuries as a passenger on the Metro train system. Contact Washington, D.C. personal injury attorney Roger Johnson at Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis for information on how to pursue a legal claim against the Metro for your injuries and medical bills.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.