A $3.8-million insurance policy that costs 5,700% more than was paid just two years ago--and for less coverage--was approved Thursday by the Southern California Rapid Transit District board. But a transit official said before the district could get any coverage, underwriters had to be convinced that the RTD's drug policies were sound.
Along those lines, the board in a separate action approved a $500,000 expansion of its existing drug-abuse program that calls for, among other things, the use of trained dogs to sniff out narcotics on RTD property.
The concern over drug use by district drivers stemmed from a May 12 incident in which an RTD bus driver who allegedly used cocaine crashed into another RTD bus at 5th and Main streets.
That accident focused public attention on drug use by RTD drivers, attention that spread to the insurance industry.
RTD Assistant General Manager John Richeson said that during negotiations with several insurance companies to provide $26 million in catastrophic, or excess, liability coverage, district officials were asked to explain the drug policies affecting RTD drivers.