WASHINGTON - A new study says that daydreaming may be the cause of a rash of red light violations by Metro train operators.
We all know that distracted driving is a big problem on the roads, but when it is happening to a Metro train operator with hundreds of people's safety at stake, it is even more concerning.
According to the Federal Transit Administration, there have been 47 red light violations on Metro since 2012.
Now, Metro officials have hired neuroscience and safety experts to try to get to the bottom of the problem, according to the Washington Post.
The study found train operators have consistently left the platform or stop "with full conscious awareness" of their actions.
Metro says it has taken steps to address the problem including installing systems that monitor red signal violations and automatically intervene if a train operator moves a train beyond a red signal.
The red lights are used to space trains properly in the system and to avoid crashes.
Metro issued a statement saying:
"With the goal of reducing red signal violations to zero, we have engaged outside experts, developed a first-of-its-kind close call reporting system, adjusted schedules and enhanced procedures. We have recently put in place additional measures to reduce the risk of miscommunication between train operators."
Metro's union said its leaders were in an all-day meeting on Monday and could not comment on the report.
Metro Board chairman and D.C. Councilmember Jack Evans was in Cuba on a trade mission trip. His office told FOX 5 the next opportunity for the board to discuss this issue will be at its next meeting on Thursday.