New safety guidelines following Muni crash

July 22, 2009 5:20:27 PM PDT
San Francisco transportation officials are implementing new safety guidelines following Saturday's Muni light rail crash that injured 47 people.

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Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board say the operator switched his train into manual mode, seconds before losing consciousness and crashing into a light rail vehicle at the West Portal station.

Muni trains running on automatic are programmed to stop when they get too close to other trains. The new guidelines say if a train is seen in manual mode without specific authorization, the train will automatically be stopped and the operator will be written up.

Union officials representing Muni operators say management knows that operators often use manual mode to help get passengers on and off faster and look the other way.

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