The House passed legislation last week that would require the Secretary of Transportation to develop a long-term strategy for improving railroad safety.
Among the focus areas would be grade-crossing safety, employee fatigue and training. The bill also would change the name of the Federal Railroad Administration to the Federal Railroad Safety Administration.
The Association of American Railroads said in a statement that railroads have experienced 263 fewer train derailments and collisions during the first seven months of 2007, compared with last year, and were on pace for the fewest number of train accidents in more than a decade.
Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.), ranking member of the House Transportation Committee, said Congress could improve rail safety better by investing “in making grade crossings safer and preventing trespasser deaths.”