Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law new legislation designed to streamline the investigative process when a train is involved in a crash with a motor vehicle.
The new legislation, House Bill 341/Senate Bill 1002, passed unanimously in the closing days of the 2019 legislative session.
“This legislation could dramatically reduce the length of time it takes to clear up an accident investigation and get the train and passengers moving again,” according to Steven L. Abrams, South Florida Transportation Authority (SFRTA) executive director and daily Tri-Rail commuter.
In the past, there have been occasions even during rush hour when an accident has occurred and officers took previous legislation as meaning that every single passenger on the train needed to be questioned. A rush hour train can carry more than 400 people. Just getting their basic identifying information can take hours. This new laws relieves passengers of that inconvenience.
The bill stipulates the collection of certain information will be at the discretion of the law enforcement officer having the jurisdiction to investigate the crash. The bill also specifies that certain persons are not considered passengers for the purpose of making crash reports and need not be interviewed as part of the process. The bill takes effect July 1.