Assemblyman: Release all NJ Transit safety violation data
A North Jersey Assemblyman is calling for the release of all NJ Transit safety violations and says the agency has failed to keep its riders safe.
As the investigation continued into Thursday crash of an NJ Transit train at the Hoboken station that killed one and injured over 100, the Federal Railroad Administration said that the railway's trains have been involved in more than 150 accidents that caused more than $4.8 million in damage to tracks or equipment since 2011.
More than half were in train yards. None of those accidents resulted in death or injury.
Democrat Assembly Judiciary Chairman John McKeon called the revelation "outrageous and unacceptable" and called for all the data to be released.
"The public deserves a full accounting," McKeon said, adding that he may take legislative action to get the information out.
"NJ Transit has failed to deliver on what should be their No. 1 concern — safety for its riders," McKeon said.
New Jersey 101.5 has sent a message to NJ Transit seeking comment on the report and is awaiting a response.
The railroad administration began an audit in June after noticing an uptick in rail incidents and found "dozens of safety violations" that needed to be fixed immediately, the official said. The commuter rail agency has paid $70,000 as a result of the audit, the official said, adding that federal agencies are continuing to work with the railroad to ensure compliance with federal rail safety guidelines.
The NTSB said that its investigation so far has not found any problems with the signals leading to track 5, the track involved in Thursday's crash, or any issue with the track itself.
Gov. Chirs Christie, appearing on Fox News Sunday, said the speed of the train as it entered the 109-year-old station has yet to be determined and said investigators are having trouble accessing all the passenger cars.
"I think it's safe to say, as I’ve said before, and governor Cuomo has said, that the train came into the station too fast. We don't know why that is. We don't know if it was error by the engineer, whether there was a medical emergency with the engineer which caused him to lose control, or whether it was some other type of mechanical failure," Christie said.
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