Public Access Records Office
The National Academies
500 5th Street NW
Room NAS 168
Washington, DC 20001
Tel: (202) 334-3543
FAX: (202) 334-2158
Email: paro@nas.edu
Project Information

Project Information


Evidentiary Protection for Public Transportation Safety Program Information


Project Scope:

As requested in Section 3021 of the Federal Surface Transportation Act of 2015, an ad hoc committee “will evaluate whether it is in the public interest, including public safety and the legal rights of persons injured in public transportation accidents, to withhold from discovery or admission into evidence in a Federal or State court proceeding any plan, report, data, or other information or portion thereof, submitted to, developed, produced, collected, or obtained by the Secretary of Transportation or the Secretary's representative for purposes of complying with the requirements under section 5329 of title 49, United States Code, including information related to a recipient's safety plan, safety risks, and mitigation measures.”
 

In conducting the study, the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine "will coordinate with the legal research entities of the National Academies, including the Committee on Law and Justice and the Committee on Science, Technology, and Law, and include members of those committees on the committee."
 

In conducting the study, the committee will “solicit input from the public transportation recipients, public transportation nonprofit employee labor organizations, and impacted members of the general public.”
 

Not later than 18 months after the date of an agreement with the Federal Transit Administration, “the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will issue a report with the findings of the study, including any recommendations on statutory changes regarding evidentiary protections that will increase public transportation safety."

Status: Current

PIN: TRB-SASP-16-05

Project Duration (months): 18 month(s)

RSO: Kortum, Katherine


Committee Membership

Committee Post Date: 08/22/2017



Mr. Michael S. Townes - (Chair)


Michael S. Townes retired as Senior Vice President and National Transit Market Sector Leader at HNTB Corporation in 2016. Prior to joining HNTB, Townes worked as national transit services leader for CDM Smith. Previous to that, he was president and CEO of Hampton Roads Transit in Virginia from 1999 to 2010. Mr. Townes has served in the public transportation industry’s top policy position as chair of the American Public Transportation Association Executive Committee, representing more than 400 public transit organizations in the United States and Canada. Within APTA, he also served as Chair of APTA Executive Committee, Chair of the Legislative Committee, and as Co-Chair of the APTA's Reauthorization Task Force, which was the Committee that established the national transit position on surface transportation reauthorization bills. He has held other national industry leadership positions as well, including chair of the Transportation Research Board Executive Committee as well as chair of the Mineta Transportation Institute board of trustees. He is the recipient of several distinguished awards including the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) Executive of the Year award, the Women in Transit Committee Achievement Award, and the Distinguished Public Service Award from the Conference of Minority Public Administrators. Mr. Townes holds a Bachelor's degree in Political Science as well as a Master's degree in Urban Regional Planning from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Mr. Edward Cheng


Edward Cheng is a Professor of Law at Vanderbilt Law School. His research focuses on scientific and expert evidence, and the interaction between law and statistics. Professor Cheng is a coauthor of Modern Scientific Evidence, a five-volume treatise that is updated annually, and he is the host of Excited Utterance, a podcast focusing on scholarship in evidence and proof. His articles, in which he explores evidence law from an empirical and statistical perspective, have been published in the Yale Law Journal, Columbia Law Review and Stanford Law Review, among other prestigious law journals. He was previously a Fulbright Scholar and the articles, book reviews, and commentaries chair of the Harvard Law Review, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in statistics at Columbia University. Professor Cheng teaches Evidence, Torts, and Statistical Concepts for Lawyers, and is a five-time winner of the Hall-Hartman Outstanding Professor Award for excellence in teaching. He was also selected by the graduating class of 2013 to be their commencement speaker. He holds a B.S.E. in electrical engineering from Princeton University; an M.Sc. in information systems from the London School of Economics and Political Science; and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.
Mr. Thomas B. Deen


Thomas B. Deen (NAE) is former Executive Director of TRB, a position he held from 1980 to 1994. Prior to joining TRB, he was Chairman and President of PRC-Voorhees, a transportation engineering and consulting company with clients worldwide. He served as chief planner of the Washington Metro subway system during its development in the 1970s. His areas of expertise are surface transportation technology, performance, economics, finance, planning, and political feasibility. Since retiring from TRB, he has served on numerous NRC Committees including the Committee on Intercity Passenger Travel, the Committee on the Federal Funding of Transportation Improvements in BRAC Cases, the Committee for the Strategic Highway Research Program 2, the Committee on Determination of the State of the Practice in Metropolitan Area Travel Forecasting, and the Committee for a Study on Transportation and a Sustainable Environment. He earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Kentucky.
Ms. Julie Hile


Julie Hile is the founder and President of Hile Group. She uses her 30 years in safety and performance consulting to help organizations achieve systemic, lasting change. Her expertise in stakeholder engagement and transfer of learning strategies makes her a strong partner who can effectively identify performance gaps and help to build upon existing resources to drive an organization’s culture change. Julie’s model for participative safety rule book revision has been credited with driving down incident and injury rates on railroads throughout North America. Her Multiple Cause Incident Analysis process has been prominently incorporated into the Federal Railroad Administration’s Confidential Close Call Reporting System (C3RS). Additional innovations include strategies for developing executive and mid-management leadership skills, re-engineering new hire orientation processes, and stewarding Human Resource functions toward performance. A frequent speaker and author in the areas of safety culture change, transformative safety, stakeholder engagement, and transfer of learning, Julie sits on the Board of Directors for the Economic Development Council of Bloomington-Normal and serves as the Chair of the Center for Emerging Entrepreneurs. She is a member of the American Society of Training and Development, the American Waterways Operators, the American Society of Safety Engineers, and Businesses for Social Responsibility. In 2015, Julie was nominated for the ATHENA Leadership Award, presented by the McLean County Chamber of Commerce, for her work in the community and opening doors for women in leadership roles. She holds a B.S. in secondary education from the University of Wisconsin at River Falls and an M.S. in English from Middlebury College.
Prof. Alan B. Morrison


Alan B. Morrison is the Lerner Family Associate Dean for Public Interest & Public Service at GW Law. He is responsible for creating pro bono opportunities for students, bringing a wide range of public interest programs to the law school, encouraging students to seek positions in the non-profit and government sectors, and assisting students find ways to fund their legal education to make it possible for them to pursue careers outside of traditional law firms. For most of his career, Dean Morrison worked for the Public Citizen Litigation Group, which he co-founded with Ralph Nader in 1972 and directed for over 25 years. His work involved law reform litigation in various areas including: open government, opening up the legal profession, suing agencies that fail to comply with the law, enforcing principles of separation of powers, protecting the rights of consumers, and protecting unrepresented class members in class action settlements. He has argued 20 cases in the Supreme Court, including victories in Goldfarb v. Virginia State Bar (holding lawyers subject to the antitrust laws for using minimum fee schedules); Virginia State Board of Pharmacy v. Virginia Citizens Consumer Council (making commercial speech subject to the First Amendment); and INS v. Chadha (striking down over 200 federal laws containing the legislative veto as a violation of separation of powers). He currently teaches civil procedure and constitutional law, and previously taught at Harvard, NYU, Stanford, Hawaii, and American University law schools. He is a member of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers and was its president in 1999–2000. Among other positions, he served as an elected member of the Board of Governors of the District of Columbia Bar, a member and then senior fellow of the Administrative Conference of the United States, a member of the American Law Institute, and a member of the Committee on Science, Technology & Law of the National Academy of Science. He is a graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School, served as a commissioned officer in the US Navy, and was an assistant U.S. attorney in New York.


Mr. Gerald Kelley


Gerald Kelley is a former General Counsel for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority in Boston, having retired on December 1, 2014. He worked for MBTA since 1994. Prior to this position, he served as the Senior Regional Counsel for the Boston Regional Office of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, as the Assistant Attorney General for Massachusetts, and as a Commander in the U.S. Coast Guard. He holds a B.A. in history and political science, a J.D., and a Master of Laws in Tax, all from Boston College.
Dr. John C. Milton


John Milton is the Director of Quality Assurance and Transportation System Safety at the Washington State Department of Transportation. He began working at the Washington DOT in 1999 as an assistant state design engineer, working his way up to become a project director, chief engineer, and Director of Enterprise Risk and Safety Management before taking his current position in 2015. He holds a B.S. in civil engineering and M.S. in engineering management from Saint Martin’s College and an M.S. in traffic engineering and a Ph.D. in highway safety from the University of Washington.


Committee Membership Roster Comments

As of August 22, 2017, changes were made to the committee membership, as follows:

Bruce M. Smith and Robert Shea has resigned

New Committee members were appointed:
Gerald Kelley and John C. Milton

Events



Location:

Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center
100 Academy Dr.
Irvine, California
Event Type :  
-

Registration for Online Attendance :   
NA

Registration for in Person Attendance :   
NA


If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  Katherine Kortum
Contact Email:  kkortum@nas.edu
Contact Phone:  2023343123

Agenda

Meeting is closed to public - to be attended by committee members and staff only.
Is it a Closed Session Event?
Yes

Closed Session Summary Posted After the Event

The following committee members were present at the closed sessions of the event:

M. Townes
J. Milton
J. Hile
A. Morrison
E. Cheng
J. Kelley
and T. Deen

The following topics were discussed in the closed sessions:

Committee reviewed its findings and conclusions.

The following materials (written documents) were made available to the committee in the closed sessions:

None

Date of posting of Closed Session Summary:
December 19, 2017


Location:

Keck Center
500 5th Street, NW
Washington D.C. 20001

Event Type :  
-

Registration for Online Attendance :   
NA

Registration for in Person Attendance :   
NA


If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  Katherine Kortum
Contact Email:  kkortum@nas.edu
Contact Phone:  2023343123

Agenda

9:00 Committee discussion with Sawyer Baker for transit rider perspective (by phone)

10:00 Committee discussion with Volpe
• Jordan Multer, Surface Transportation Human Factors expert

12:00 Lunch

1:00 Committee discussion with Utah Transit Authority about safety management
• Dave Goeres, UTA Chief Safety, Security, and Technology Officer

2:30 Break

2:45 FTA staff discussion and comparison with FAA
• Lynn Spencer, Director, Office of System Safety, FTA
• Kim Burtch, Deputy Associate Administrator for Safety and Oversight, FTA

4:30 Adjourn
Is it a Closed Session Event?
Yes

Closed Session Summary Posted After the Event

The following committee members were present at the closed sessions of the event:

Cheng
Deen
Hile
Kelley
Milton
Morrison
Townes


The following topics were discussed in the closed sessions:

The committee discussed their impressions of the presentations and the guidelines, findings, and recommendations they are considering for the final report.

The following materials (written documents) were made available to the committee in the closed sessions:

None

Date of posting of Closed Session Summary:
September 29, 2017


Location:

Keck Center
500 5th Street, NW
Washington D.C. 20001

Event Type :  
-

Registration for Online Attendance :   
NA

Registration for in Person Attendance :   
NA


If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  Katherine Kortum
Contact Email:  kkortum@nas.edu
Contact Phone:  202-334-3123

Agenda

9:00 Transit panel
• Gregory Skillman, Senior Deputy General Counsel, TriMet (Portland)
• Rita Roberts-Turner, Chief Administrative Officer, Nashville MTA
• Karen Seimetz, Chicago Transit Authority

10:30 Break

10:45 Committee discussion with transit representatives

12:00 Lunch

1:00 Safety management systems discussion with FTA

2:30 Break

2:45 Discussion panel
• John Milton, Director of Quality Assurance and Transportation System Safety, Washington DOT
• Lawrence Simon, Javerbaum Wurgaft Hicks Kahn Wikstrom & Sinins, PC
• Keira McNett, Amalgamated Transit Union

5:00 Adjourn
Is it a Closed Session Event?
Yes

Closed Session Summary Posted After the Event

The following committee members were present at the closed sessions of the event:

R. Shea
G. Kelley
A. Morrison
E. Cheng
T. Deen
M. Townes
J. Hile

The following topics were discussed in the closed sessions:

Committee discussed their impressions of the presentations, the information still needed, and a draft outline of the report.

The following materials (written documents) were made available to the committee in the closed sessions:

None

Date of posting of Closed Session Summary:
August 04, 2017


Location:

Keck Center
500 5th Street, NW
Washington D.C. 20001

Event Type :  
-

Registration for Online Attendance :   
NA

Registration for in Person Attendance :   
NA


If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  Katherine Kortum
Contact Email:  kkortum@nas.edu
Contact Phone:  202-334-3123

Agenda

9:30 FTA presentations on safety data protection
Candace Key and Aloha Ley, FTA

12:00 Lunch available in Keck 106

1:00 Presentations

1:00 FHWA: Section 409 and Road Safety Audits
Hannah Needleman and Jennifer Mayo, FHWA

1:45 Congressional Staff
Jen Deci and Homer Carlisle, Senate Banking Committee, and Caryn Lund and Auke Mahar-Piersma, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee

2:30 American Public Transportation Association
Linda Ford, APTA

3:15 Break

3:30 FRA report on Protecting Railroad Safety Risk Reduction Program Information
Kirk Van Tine, Baker Botts

4:15 Plaintiff’s Trial Lawyer Perspective: Medical
Paul Rheingold, Rheingold, Giuffra, Ruffo & Plotkin, LLP

5:00 Adjourn
Is it a Closed Session Event?
Yes

Closed Session Summary Posted After the Event

The following committee members were present at the closed sessions of the event:

E. Cheng
T. Deen
J. Hile
A. Morrison
R. Shea
B. Smith
M. Townes

The following topics were discussed in the closed sessions:

plans for upcoming meetings

The following materials (written documents) were made available to the committee in the closed sessions:

none

Date of posting of Closed Session Summary:
April 25, 2017

Publications

  • Publications having no URL can be seen at the Public Access Records Office
Publications

No data present.