Government Issues

FRA hits highest-ever rail penalty rate

Posted on December 27, 2016

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) announced its enforcement of federal rail safety rules has led to the highest-ever civil penalty collection rate in the agency’s 50-year history, surpassing last year’s record-breaking rate.

For Fiscal Year (FY) 2016, the agency expects to collect 79% of the civil penalties it issued to railroads, hazardous materials shippers and others for violating federal safety regulations, a 4% increase over FY2015, and the largest percentage rate ever closed by the agency. The total amount of civil penalties in FY2016 hit $15.75 million, more than a half-million more than the previous year.

“The Department of Transportation will continue to take aggressive action against railroads for not following safety rules,” said U.S Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “This strong enforcement program helps prevent needless accidents and deaths.”

FRA’s closure rate is the highest in the agency’s history and significantly higher than previous years.

Last year, more than 6,268 railroad company violations resulted in civil penalties.

“The country continues to rely on rail more and more to transport materials and people, and that must happen each day without an incident. A strong enforcement program is a critical element to achieve that goal,” said FRA Administrator Sarah E. Feinberg.

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