DOT issues plan to prevent rail-related deaths

Posted on June 15, 2004

Promoting enhanced enforcement and closing unneeded crossings are among the objectives highlighted in a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) plan for reducing railroad-related casualties. The "Action Plan for Highway-Rail Crossing Safety and Trespess Prevention", unveiled Tuesday, is a comprehensive update of the DOT's original plan issued in 1994. Objectives highlighted by the DOT plan include advancing engineering standards and promoting new technology; expanding educational outreach and public education efforts; closing unneeded crossings and limiting the creation of new ones. Other plan initiatives include completing deployment and implementation of emergency notification systems, and evaluating the effectiveness of current efforts and promoting best practices. Currently, a train strikes someone nearly every three hours in the U.S., according to DOT statistics. People walking or playing on, near or along railroad tracks and equipment, collisions at highway-rail grade crossings account for 96% of rail-related deaths in the U.S.

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