The California Public Utilities Commission announced Thursday that it’s slapping BART with a $1.3 million fine and placing the transit agency on probation for three years for safety violations that led to the deaths of two workers in 2013.
“These fatalities were totally preventable,” said Commissioner Liane M. Randolph, the author of the decision. “Our investigation found numerous and egregious safety violations by BART."
The fine is the largest ever imposed by the CPUC on a public agency for safety violations. The fine will be reduced by half if BART adheres to all safety rules during its probation.
Christopher Sheppard, a 58-year-old BART manager from Hayward, and Laurence Daniels, a 66-year-old contractor from Fair Oaks, were inspecting the tracks between the Walnut Creek and Pleasant Hill stations on Oct. 19, 2013 when they were hit by a train operated by a trainee. The incident occurred during a four-day BART worker strike.
The CPUC’s investigation found that the trainee’s supervisor had violated multiple safety requirements, including using a cell phone on the job and failing to sound the train’s horn as it approached the workers. It also faulted BART for submitting its incident report nearly nine months late.