New "Prohibition Order" law safeguards against violent, unruly or repeat offenders


New "Prohibition Order" law safeguards against violent, unruly or repeat offenders

BART customers and workers will experience a safer environment beginning in May thanks to a new state law that allows BART to issue a “prohibition order” against anyone who commits certain offenses on BART property, banning them for 30 days to a year.

Assembly Bill 716 (Dickinson) allows BART to enforce the prohibition orders for serious crimes such as violence against passengers or employees, or for offenders who repeatedly commit infractions such as urinating in public or defacing property.

“BART Police Officers have completed extensive training on applying the law, including ways to work with special-needs populations such as individuals with mental illness or homeless persons,” said BART Police Chief Kenton Rainey. “Now it’s time to begin using the authority as one of the tools we have to keep our riders and workers safe.”

BART will begin to enforce the program on Monday, May 6. At that time “prohibition orders” can be issued to individuals who meet the criteria. All Station Agents will receive information about active orders through their computers. The information will include names and pictures of the prohibited individuals.

BART has conducted a number of public meetings with community and mental health groups to gather feedback to improve our policies and the training of police personnel who will enforce the new law. A Transit Security Advisory Committee (TSAC) has been formed to monitor bans and make sure all anti-discrimination laws are obeyed.

Anyone who is banned can request an administrative hearing. The hearing officer can overturn the order if he or she determines the person did not understand the nature and extent of his or her actions or did not have the ability to control his or her behavior.

BART is by far the largest transit agency in California with the authority to implement prohibition orders. Sacramento Regional Transit District and the Fresno Area Express have had the authority for more than three years.

To learn more about the new law, go to www.bart.gov/police.