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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

FRA to issue advisory on sleep apnea, cameras

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is finalizing an advisory to push railroads to begin testing train operators for obstructive sleep apnea.

Agency officials will issue the safety advisory on screening and treatment for the condition following reports that the engineer of a New Jersey Transit commuter train was found to have the condition after the train he was operating crashed into a Hoboken, N.J., rail station, killing one person and injuring more than 100 people.

Sleep apnea is a medical disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts while a person is sleeping, resulting in insufficient sleep. Left untreated, someone with the disorder may involuntarily fall asleep.

The FRA's advisory will a strong recommendation to railroads, a sort of "stopgap measure" until regulators can draft rules that will require railroads to screen train operators for sleep apnea, according to an Associated Press report published by U.S. News & World Report.

FRA Administrator Sarah Feinberg told the AP that process could take years, and said railroads shouldn't wait to begin screening.

The FRA posted on its Twitter account yesterday that it is finalizing an advisory to push railroads to take action now on sleep apnea, as well as the installation of inward- and outward-facing cameras in train cabs.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 11/22/2016