Today’s Washington Post (Metro page B-1) reports on "a blunt assessment" of Washington DC’s Metro transit administration.  Retired Metro manager David L. Gunn wrote the report.  Among other problems, it finds a "shoot the messenger" phenomenon "that discourages employees from raising safety concerns." The report is particularly sobering in light of last year’s collision that

On October 14, the Washington Post ran a story on Metro drivers going “Strictly by the Book” (p. B-1). The story highlights safety issues that reach beyond Metro. That the Post’s writer would be concerned about the disruption reveals a prevalent but dangerous attitude that speed is more important than safety.

As an advocate for whistleblowers, I am particularly concerned that the bus drivers speaking to the reporter were afraid of retaliation. The National Transit Systems Security Act of 2007 (NTSSA) has given every transit system employee the right to put safety first, to bypass the chain of command, and to disobey unsafe or illegal orders. Under NTSSA, every Metro employee has legal protection if they choose to speak to a newspaper about safety concerns. They would be protected if they follow safety rules and run “late” as a result.
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