The Control Yuan yesterday censured the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) and the Bureau of High Speed Rail (BHSR) over alleged lax management of train drivers.
Speaking at a news conference, Control Yuan member Cheng Jen-hung (程仁宏) said the Control Yuan reproached the MOTC and BHSR for an incident involving a high speed train driver who became “temporarily dysfunctional” for 13 minutes while operating a train on April 24.
“Being ‘temporarily dysfunctional’ is much more risky than falling asleep,” Cheng said. “How could the driver, who had been taking non-prescription sleeping pills offered by a friend for two or three months, still pass Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp’s [THSRC] examination and be allowed to drive that day?”
Cheng said the incident was brought to light by a passenger who wrote a letter to the bureau about the incident.
“THSRC did not immediately report the mishap to BHSR, arousing rampant public speculation that the company was attempting to cover it up,” the Control Yuan member said.
Cheng said that job requirements for high speed rail train drivers should be on par with those for aircraft pilots.