Accident investigators uncovered such egregious behavior by train operators in the fatal 2008 accident near Los Angeles that they suggested Thursday that all railroads monitor crews with video surveillance.
In a controversial recommendation intended to draw a line in the sand against the rapid rise in accidents triggered by distractions from cellphones and other technology, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) not only endorsed placing video cameras in train cabs, but said railroads should regularly monitor the videos to ensure that engineers follow safety rules.
The NTSB found that the Sept. 12, 2008, crash between commuter and freight trains that killed 25 people was caused by an engineer who sped through a stop signal as he was texting. The engineer, who died in the crash, had been warned about cellphone use on the job twice before.
"This is becoming widespread," said NTSB Chairwoman Debbie Hersman. "We need to nip this in the bud."