Federal Railroad Administration to enhance safety at grade crossings

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has announced a new, multifaceted campaign, designed to strengthen safety awareness and enforcement at the nation’s grade crossings, according to a press release from the Department of Transportation.

The first phase of the effort will include asking local law enforcement agencies to show a greater presence at grade crossings and to issue citations to drivers who violate rules of the road. Next, the FRA will endeavor to employ smarter use of technology, including improved signage, to increase public awareness of grade crossing safety.

“Recent accidents in New York and California are important reminders of our shared challenge to both educate the public about grade crossing safety and to enforce appropriate behavior around railroad operations,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said. “Grade crossing and trespassing accidents are serious challenges to maintaining public safety.”

According to Foxx, on average someone is hit by a train in the U.S. every three hours, making this initiative an important part of improving public safety. Out of the 250,711 grade crossings in the U.S., approximately 51 percent are public, and only half of these currently have automatic warning systems, while just one-third have flashing lights and gates.

To learn more, visit www.ra.dot.gov.