Report Alerts MTA Workers Involved in Accidents Are Tested for Alcohol Very Late | The State

Report alerts that MTA workers involved in accidents are tested for alcohol too late

The report claims that 90% of the 6,600 bus employees involved in accidents received late tests.

Mariela Lombard / News

Between 2017 and 2019 there were several traffic accidents caused by workers of the Metropolitan Transportation Authorities (MTA), but the alcohol tests conducted on those bus and train drivers involved were conducted too late, in some cases causing those responsible they will not face any consequences.

This was revealed by a report released by MTA Inspector General Carolyn Pokorny, in which he asks the authorities of that agency to change practices to allow this test to be carried out in less than two hours after an accident.

Pokorny questioned the MTA by data showing that at least 7 bus drivers and Subway 4 they would have avoided being imposed disciplinary measures because the alcohol tests took too long.

And although the report indicated that the managers of the transit agency and operational personnel are unaware of the extent of these delays, it is estimated that 90.0% of tests performed on 6,600 bus employees and the 88.5% made to 4,000 Subways employees, were completed more than 2 hours after the accident occurred.

“If the NYPD can screen suspected drunk drivers in 2 hours, why can’t the MTA do that with employees at the scene of a serious bus or train accident?” He said. Pokorny.

The Inspector General added: “Allowing too much time to pass between the accident and the workers’ tests creates an unnecessary obstacle, putting the safety of our passengers, workers and others at risk.”

An audit of the MTA Office of the Inspector General The (OIG) found that the vast majority of post-crash alcohol testing was delayed and the problem has worsened even as the OIG issued multiple reports on the same issue since 1999.

According to OIG, the main reason why the tests take so long is the duration of the investigations carried out at the accident scene, in addition to the time it takes for the employee to travel from the accident site to the medical center of NYC Transit where the tests are performed.

The report recalls that Federal Transit Administration (FTA), recognizing that the body removes alcohol fairly quickly, requires alcohol testing to be conducted as soon as possible for accidents involving significant injury to people or property, ideally within 2 hours of the accident. Timeliness of tests is crucial; the longer the time between the accident and the test, the greater the likelihood that an employee’s impairment at work will continue undetected or addressed, posing a risk to themselves, the public, other employees, and the property of the agency.

The MTA and New York City Transit They are fully committed to a drug and alcohol free workplace. Every year, we evaluate tens of thousands of employees; our testing program is among the largest in the country and meets or exceeds all federal regulations and guidelines, “said MTA deputy director of communications, Aaron donovan, in a statement published by NBC New York.

Late testing:

  • 90% of the 6,600 bus employees involved in accidents received late tests.
  • At least 7 employees were spared disciplinary action because of it.
  • 88.5% of the 4,000 Subway employees involved in accidents received late testing.
  • At least 4 employees were spared disciplinary action because of it.


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