34th community enacts remote control safety resolution
CLEVELAND, August 7 -- Knox County became the second Tennessee county to express concerns regarding remote control train operations in their community, joining Unicoi County, Tenn., in adopting a remote control safety resolution.
On July 28, the Knox County Commission overwhelmingly enacted a resolution that asks the Federal Railroad Administration to adopt comprehensive regulations for the use of remote control engines. A similar resolution was enacted by Unicoi County on March 24.
Knox County is the 34th community in the United States to adopt such a resolution, joining 24 cities and nine other counties.
In adopting the resolution, the Knox County Commission recognized that Class I railroads operating in Knox County handle many dangerous and hazardous materials, not only through the community, but switch them as well, and that the U.S. government has issued warnings to the nation’s railroads to be on the alert for vandalism and terrorist threats. In verbal discussions, many commissioners said that this could be a first step in addressing what could become a serious safety concern for the citizens of Knox County.
Brother T. R. (Ray) Dobson, Legislative Representative of BLE Division 782 (Etowah, Tenn.), said this has been a unique opportunity for two BLE Divisions to work together –- Division 782 (CSX Transportation) and 239 (Norfolk Southern).
Brother John Mason, President of Division 239 (Knoxville, Tenn.), and John Norman, Legislative Representative of Division 239, were very helpful and instrumental in the passage of this resolution, Dobson said.
Brother Dobson thanked Knox County Commissioners Mark Cawood and Larry Stephens, who served as sponsor and co-sponsor of the resolution, respectively.
“Their work and guidance in getting the resolution passed was tremendous,” Dobson said. “I would also like to thank Division 782 Local Chairman Rick Skidmore for his constant support and help. A thanks goes to Chairman Jimmy Brittain and the rest of the Tennessee State Legislative Board for their support and help.”
He also recognized the assistance of: Division 781 (Erwin, Tenn.) Legislative Representative J. T. (John) Little; Michigan State Legislative Board Chairman G. D. Powell; and the Texas State Legislative Board and its Vice-Chairman Herb Yambra, for all their help in putting together a successful presentation.
A copy of the resolution follows.
A RESOLUTION OF THE COMMISSION
OF KNOX COUNTY, TENNESSEE
REQUESTING THAT THE FEDERAL
RAILROAD ADMINISTRATION (FRA)
DEVELOP COMPREHENSIVE REGULATIONS
FOR THE USE OF REMOTE CONTROL
Resolution number: R-03-7-910
Whereas: the County of Knox TN has a duty to provide for the public safety of its Citizens; and
Whereas: railroads operate within the geographic boundaries of Knox County, over public and private highway rail crossings and on property accessible to persons of all ages and abilities; and
Whereas: railroad equipment is known to present significant danger to persons and property from collision, derailment, and possible release of hazardous materials; and
Whereas: a significant bulk of Norfolk Southern (NS) and CSX Railroad's cargo is petrochemical and hazardous materials traveling through and being switched in Knox County; and
Whereas: the United States Government has issued a safety alert against vandalism and terrorists threats against railroads:
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED BY THE COMMISSION OF KNOX COUNTY AS FOLLOWS:
That the Knox County Commission requests that in the interest of the safety for the Citizens of Knox County, that the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) develops comprehensive regulations for the use of remote control locomotives.
Be It Further Resolved, that if any notifications are to be made to effectuate this Resolution, then the County Clerk is hereby requested to forward to a copy of this Resolution to the proper authority.
Be It Further Resolved, that this Resolution is to take effect from and after its passage, as provided by the Charter of Knox County, Tennessee, the public welfare requiring it.
Thursday, August 07, 2003