Safety Performance Target Question
On February 4th, FTA hosted a webinar related to Safety Performance Targets. In the first couple of slides of the presentation, the presenter and the slide stated the fatality performance measure excludes suicides, trespassers, and natural causes. That statement is in conflict with the National Public Transportation Safety Plan footnote 8 which states, “The thresholds for "reportable" fatalities, injuries, and events are defined in the NTD Safety and Security Reporting Manual.”
In the NTD Safety and Security Reporting Manual, there is no exclusion to the fatality definition as stated in this webinar. Please advise if we should listen to the webinar or the National Public Transportation Safety Plan.
In guidance found on page 39 of the National Public Transportation Safety Plan (NSP), FTA explains that safety performance measure "data includes safety events (reportable derailments, collisions, fires, and evacuations), fatalities (not including suicides or trespassers), and injuries (not including assaults or injuries due to crimes).”
See https://www.transit.dot.gov/regulations-and-guidance/safety/national-public-transportation-safety-plan. Notwithstanding this guidance, transit agencies may define additional safety performance measures and targets in their ASP to address specific areas of safety risk at their agency, including those related to suicides and trespassers.
FTA published a proposed NSP for a two-month public comment period from February 5, 2016 to April 6, 2016. FTA did not receive comments on this specific topic. Future updates of the NSP also will be subject to notice and comment.
I am extremely disappointed that FTA is not including trespasser and suicide-related fatalities in the Safety Performance Measure "count". These two types of fatalities are, together, the largest cause of death on U.S. rail transit systems and on the general railway system.
Can you clarify two things: (1) Does this exclusion also apply to injuries? That is, if someone is injured but not killed in a trespassing or suicide-related safety event, do those injuries "count" in the agency's Safety Performance Measure and Target? (2) Why has FTA made this decision to not simply use the data as reported to the NTD? Won't this make it harder to track trends consistently across all U.S. transit agencies?
The National Public Transportation Safety Plan (NSP) (https://www.transit.dot.gov/regulations-and-guidance/safety/national-public-transportation-safety-plan) defines four safety performance measures that transit agencies will use to set safety performance targets, which include fatalities, injuries, and safety events. FTA uses the definitions established by the National Transit Database (NTD) (https://www.transit.dot.gov/ntd/national-transit-database-ntd-glossary) program to support these measures and the development of safety performance targets.
For purposes of the fatalities safety performance measure, FTA uses the NTD definition of fatality (death confirmed within 30 days) and excludes trespassing and suicide-related fatalities. This means that an agency may have to report a trespassing fatality to NTD, but it would exclude that trespassing fatality from its fatalities performance measure.
For purposes of the injuries safety performance measure, FTA uses the NTD definition of injury (harm to a person requiring immediate medical attention away from the scene) and excludes injuries resulting from assaults and other crimes. This means that an agency may have to report a crime-related injury to the NTD, but it would exclude that injury from its injuries performance measure.
For purposes of the safety events performance measure, FTA uses all safety events meeting an NTD major event threshold. In other words, for this measure, FTA includes only major safety events and excludes major security events (both of which are reported to the NTD). This means that an agency may have to report a major security event to the NTD, but it would exclude that security event from its safety events performance measure.
FTA understands the need for additional clarity surrounding these points and plans to update the NSP published in 2017 with a revised version that includes this clarification.