NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — In an effort to improve safety, the federal government has issued new guidelines regarding train operators and sleep apnea.

Before someone takes the controls of a passenger train, they need to be tested for sleep apnea, and if they are diagnosed, they need to be treated, WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported.

Federal regulators issued the ruling on the heels of the fatal NJ TRANSIT crash in Hoboken. The engineer claims he doesn’t remember slamming into the station platform. 

Sleep apnea can cause daytime drowsiness.

The Federal Railroad Administration also called for inward facing cameras in train cabs, which would help keep tabs on train operators.

“Well I mean, it’s about time,” said Jim Cameron, a commuter rail advocate in Connecticut. “I think the camera will have a strong influence in making sure that engineer does the right thing.”

NJ TRANSIT recently announced that it is no longer allowing its engineers who exhibit symptoms of sleep apnea to operate trains pending diagnosis and treatment.


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