7061 East Pleasant Valley Road, Independence, Ohio 44131 • (216) 241-2630 / Fax: (216) 241-6516

News and Issues
User Info

Arkansas governor signs BLET-backed bill to protect train crews

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio, June 21 —Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson recently signed into law a BLET-backed bill that imposes harsher penalties on criminals who target railroad workers.

Act 955 is designed “to protect freight rail employees and public transit employees by enhancing the penalties of certain criminal offenses.” Introduced as Arkansas House Bill 2116 on March 6, 2017, the measure passed the state House on March 27 by a 76-6 majority and passed the state Senate on March 29 by a 34-0 majority. Governor Hutchinson, a Republican, signed the bill on April 6, 2017.

Brother Terry L. Todd, Chairman of the BLET Arkansas State Legislative Board, said the legislation is designed to discourage terrorist acts against freight railroads and public transportation. It protects locomotive engineers, conductors, switchmen, brakemen, trainmen, and firemen, and also railroad managers.

Criminals are subject to enhanced sentences under this law if the victim of an offense is a railroad or public transit employee. Harsher penalties would be enforced for the following misdemeanors and felonies:

• Class A Misdemeanor or an unclassified Misdemeanor with a possible sentence greater than 90 days imprisonment, an additional period of imprisonment of not more than one year;

• Class C felony, Class D felony, on an unclassified felony, an additional period of imprisonment of at least six months but no more than two years; and

• Class Y felony, Class A felony, or Class B felony, an additional period of imprisonment of a least two years but no more than 10 years.

Brother Todd said Arkansas State Senator Eddie Joe Williams, a retired member of BLET Division 585, helped guide the bill through the Senate. He also worked with his counterparts in the SMART Transportation Division to lobby for the bill — Gerald Sale, SMART-TD Arkansas State Legislative Director and Wayne Denson, Arkansas State Legislative 1st Vice Chairman — and received support from the Arkansas State AFL-CIO.

BLET National President Dennis R. Pierce thanked Brother Todd and all BLET members in the state of Arkansas who worked for passage of the bill. “I thank Brother Terry Todd for his diligence in lobbying to secure passage of this bill,” President Pierce said. “All rail workers and the traveling public will benefit from the passage of Act 955.”

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Like us on Facebook at

Sign up for BLET News Flash Alerts

© 1997-2017 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen


Decertification Helpline
(216) 694-0240

National Negotiations

Sign up for BLET
News Flash Alerts


STB: Class I employment slide continued in June, but T&E workforce increased
Wick Moorman: How Penn Station got to the “summer of hell”
PATH sees boost in ridership during NY Penn Station repairs
Why the oil industry might prefer rail to pipelines in turbulent times
NTSB to detail findings in deadly 2015 Metro-North train/SUV crash investigation
Canadian infrastructure bank could be tool by which high-speed rail gets built
BNSF employee injured when Metra train derails in rail yard
East Coast rail future laid out, but it is far from paid for
Amtrak loses bid to operate new Hartford commuter rail line
Working group gives thumbs up to return of Gulf Coast rail
First UP freight train passes through new trench next to San Gabriel Mission
Q&A: Unemployment and sickness benefits for railroad employees
Get the latest labor news from the Teamsters

More Headlines