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FRA rolls out new railroad crossing and trespassing website to increase rail safety

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) on Thursday, March 17th launched a redesigned website to serve as a one-stop shop to help drivers, pedestrians, and law enforcement stay safe around the nation’s more than 200,000 railroad crossings and 140,000 miles of track.

The new railroad crossing portal is part of the agency’s ongoing campaign to reduce fatalities at railroad crossings and tracks to zero by building partnerships that increase education, step up enforcement, and leverage engineering.

“Railroad crossings are in nearly every city and town across America,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Preventing fatalities at crossings and on tracks takes innovative solutions, increased enforcement actions, and robust safety education efforts. FRA’s new website is an important tool to help us achieve our goal of zero deaths at crossings and along tracks.”

FRA data show that 96 percent of rail-related fatalities, most of which are preventable, are the result of incidents at railroad crossings and by trespassers. That’s why the new FRA portal has more interactive features with downloadable fact sheets on safety and a resource library that is easy to navigate. The site makes accessing information about railroad crossing safety and trespass prevention more streamlined, with a focus on education.

“Ending fatalities at railroad crossings and by trespassers is not a goal FRA can achieve with just another regulation or rule. It will take a strong commitment from everyone – law enforcement, regulators, railroads, and motorists who drive over railroad track every day – and better education,” said FRA Administrator Sarah E. Feinberg. “Providing information on a clean, user friendly, and interactive website will help people stay safe around railroad crossings and tracks and get us one step closer to stopping these preventable deaths.”

Last year, FRA launched a new, comprehensive campaign to reverse the uptick in fatalities at railroad crossings. The campaign includes partnering with Google and other tech companies to use FRA data that pinpoints the country’s approximately 200,000 railroad crossings to add crossing alerts to map applications. FRA has also worked with local law enforcement to increase enforcement around railroad crossings. In 2015, 244 individuals died at railroad crossings, down from 264 in 2014.

Last month, the FRA awarded nearly $10 million in grants for nine projects in eight states to upgrade and increase the safety of railroad crossings along energy routes. In addition, FRA Administrator Feinberg highlighted the importance of partnerships between the states and railroads in her letter to state DOTs urging them to conduct inspections with railroads on traffic lights connected to railroad crossings. Furthermore, funds available to states through the Federal Highway Administration’s Section 130 Program, which provides funds for the elimination of hazards at railway-highway crossings, will increase to $350 million from $220 million in 2016.

4 comments

  • A yooper

    The education part is easy. It has been going on for many years. My parents taught me at 5 years old to not walk or drive out in front of a frickn train!!!! Same for idiots that walk out in front of cars because “I have the right of way” It’s called survival. To spend billions on revised crossing with new engineering & such you just can’t protect everyone from themselves. If you don’t understand signs, flashing lights, gates, horns & rumbling ground maybe the bus is better suited for you. Just the view of a guy with some years behind me using that philosophy.

    • Chrisco

      You would love me. I am one of those walkers who will step out because I have the right away. You have brakes and learn to use them. You hit me, You go to jail.

    • avlisk

      You can’t cure stupid. They can make all the laws they want, increase education, engineer new technology, and until there’s a chip designed to go into our brains that will stop humans from doing stupid things, people are going to keep on doing stupid things that get themselves killed. Too bad trains and tracks aren’t clearly marked. Too bad trains aren’t more obvious. Perhaps they need horns, lights, gates, signs,bells and whistles? More folks are killed by automobiles every day than by any other machine. Perhaps the automobile needs to be banned. Only the rich and powerful need to be driving, anyway. Let me check with Mayor Bloomberg, and I’ll get back to you. 2A

  • Jon Brawn

    FRA rolls out new railroad crossing and trespassing website to increase rail safety

    Actually it’s the same do nothing BS realigned and we probably paid millions. At least $5 million just for the software.

    Please remove the jury tampering trespassing BS. The killer railroads do nothing to keep people out therefore it’s negligent homicide on their part —100s a year.

    Why don’t we get rid of the rail cozy clowns all together and take the money for crossing signals—video monitors—and especially SPEED LIMIT signs for the train bombs more out of control than any drunk.

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