The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has improved its enforcement of safety regulations in the industry, resulting in the highest collection rate for civil penalties in the agency’s existence, the Department of Transportation said recently.
In fiscal year (FY) 2015, the agency collected 75 percent of the civil penalties it dished out to railroads for breaking federal safety regulations. This is a 6 percent rise over FY 2014, making it the biggest percentage rate that the agency has ever collected.
In FY 2015, there were over 6,485 railroad-company violations that resulted in civil penalties totalling $15 million, a 12 percent increase over the year before.
“Safety must be the number one priority for every railroad, and the Department of Transportation will continue to take aggressive action against railroads who fail to follow safety rules,” U.S Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said. “A strong safety enforcement program is critical to prevent accidents, save lives and move our country forward.”
The goal is to improve the safety of the U.S. rail system.
“Setting a record for collections is an important milestone, but it is just one element of FRA’s broader effort to achieve a safer rail system,” FRA Administrator Sarah Feinberg said. “As we continue to aggressively enforce safety regulations, FRA will also continue to implement new, innovative solutions to increase safety.”