5501.55 Overseeing safety practices of rail fixed guideway systems.

(A) The department of transportation is the designated state agency responsible for overseeing the safety practices of rail fixed guideway systems and the administration of 49 U.S.C. 5329 and 5330. The director of transportation shall develop any guidelines necessary to oversee the safety practices of rail fixed guideway systems that are consistent with the federal act and rules adopted thereunder.

(B) In accordance with guidelines developed by the director, the department shall do all of the following:

(1) Establish a safety program documentation standard for transit agencies operating , implementing, or significantly enhancing an applicable rail fixed guideway system within the state;

(2) Oversee adoption of standards and oversee enforcement of laws for the personal safety and security of passengers and employees of rail fixed guideway systems;

(3) Review and approve or disapprove the annual internal safety audit conducted by a transit agency under section 5501.56 of the Revised Code;

(4) Periodically, conduct an on-site safety review of each transit agency safety program based on the agency's safety program documentation and make recommendations for changes or enhancements to the transit agency safety program ;

(5)

(a) Establish procedures for the investigation of accidents and hazardous conditions, and for coordinating and addressing immediate conditions at a transit agency, as defined in the guidelines developed by the director;

(b) Investigate accidents and hazardous conditions at transit agencies;

(c) Approve or disapprove any corrective action plan of a transit agency intended to minimize, control, correct, or eliminate any investigated hazard;

(d) Enforce the correction of identified hazardous conditions and plans to minimize, control, correct, or eliminate those identified hazardous conditions in a timely manner agreed upon within corrective action plans.

(6) Submit to the federal transit administration any reports or other information necessary to remain in compliance with 49 U.S.C. 5329 and 5330 and the rules adopted thereunder;

(7) Approve or disapprove, oversee, and enforce the development, updating, and implementation of the transit agency's public transportation safety plan as defined and required by the federal transit administration.

(C) The department may use a contractor to act on its behalf in carrying out the duties of the department under this section and section 5501.56 of the Revised Code and 49 U.S.C. 5329 and 5330 and the rules adopted thereunder.

(D)

(1) Reports of any investigation or audit conducted by the department, a transit agency operating a rail fixed guideway system, or a contractor acting on behalf of the department or such a transit agency are confidential and are not subject to disclosure, inspection, or copying under section 149.43 of the Revised Code. Information contained in investigative files shall be disclosed only at the discretion of the director or as otherwise provided in this section.

(2) Reports of any investigation or audit conducted by the department, a transit agency operating a rail fixed guideway system, or a contractor acting on behalf of the department or such a transit agency shall not be admitted in evidence or used for any purpose in any action or proceeding arising out of any matter referred to in the investigation or audit, except in actions or proceedings instituted by the state or by the department on behalf of the state, nor shall any member of the department or its employees, a transit agency acting on behalf of the department, or a contractor acting on behalf of the department or such a transit agency be required to testify to any facts ascertained in, or information obtained by reason of, the person's official capacity, or to testify as an expert witness in any action or proceeding involving or pertaining to rail fixed guideway systems to which the state is not a party.

(E) In accordance with the guidelines developed by the director, the department may establish such programs, procedures, and administrative mandates as may be necessary to carry out its duties under this section and section 5501.56 of the Revised Code and 49 U.S.C. 5329 and 5330 and the rules adopted thereunder.

(F) As used in this section and in section 5501.56 of the Revised Code:

(1) "Rail fixed guideway system" means any light, heavy, or rapid rail system, monorail, inclined plane, funicular, trolley, or automated guideway that is included in the federal transit administration's calculation of fixed guideway route miles or receives funding for urbanized areas under 49 U.S.C. 5336 and is not regulated by the federal railroad administration.

(2) "Transit agency" means an entity operating a rail fixed guideway system.

Amended by 131st General Assembly File No. TBD, HB 53, §101.01, eff. 7/1/2015.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.7, HB 114, §101.01, eff. 6/29/2011.

Effective Date: 09-17-1996