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June 20, 2013

FRA launches rail crossing safety app

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) launched an iOS smartphone mobile application, the "Rail Crossing Locator," which provides the public with easy access to safety information about the nation’s more than 200,000 highway-rail grade crossings.

The Rail Crossing Locator app works by prompting users to enter a specific location, which then allows them to locate highway-rail grade crossings in their area and retrieve important information, such as the physical characteristics of a crossing and the type of traffic control devices used.

The app allows users to report information about grade crossings to the FRA to ensure the most accurate and up-to-date information is available. This new app is free through Apple’s App Store and can be used on any iPhone or iPad.

Over the past decade, highway-rail incidents have declined by 34%, and deaths resulting from these events have fallen 30%. However, while the total number of incidents has been trending downward, collisions at highway-rail crossings remain a challenge to safety. Last year alone, highway-rail crossing collisions accounted for nearly 20% of all reportable rail accidents and incidents and represented nearly one-third of all rail-related fatalities.

The continuing decline in crossing incidents, injuries and fatalities is attributable to ongoing multifaceted public education efforts, engineering approaches to improve grade crossing safety and enforcement efforts carried out by FRA, railroads, states, localities, Operation Lifesaver Inc. and other partners.

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