Cleveland passes 'emergency measure' on remote control

The City Council of Cleveland, Ohio, adopted an "emergency measure" on February 10 that encourages members of the Ohio State Legislature to pass legislation addressing security and safety concerns surrounding the use of remote control locomotives.

The measure also calls upon state and federal agencies that regulate railroad operations to work with the Department of Homeland Security to establish regulations to address remote control locomotives.

Cleveland is now the fifth U.S. city to adopt a resolution calling for improved safety regarding remote control trains.

The Cleveland City Council's resolution is, "an emergency measure for the immediate preservation of public peace, property, health, or safety."

According to the resolution, No. 194-03, the federal government recently identified railroad shipments of hazardous materials as potential terrorist targets, and noted that various railroad operators in Cuyahoga County, where Cleveland is located, have recently begun using or are considering the use of remote control trains.

The City Council determined that, "the use of remote control locomotives raises a number of safety and security concerns, particularly with hazardous cargo."

Cleveland now joins five other U.S. cities in adopting resolutions that call for improved safety regarding remote control locomotives - Baton Rouge, La., Shreveport, La., Detroit, Mich., and Marysville, Mich. The Baton Rouge, Shreveport and Detroit resolutions call for an outright ban of remote control trains until certain safety requirements have been met.

James F. Ong, Chairman of the Ohio State Legislative Board, played the lead role in securing passage of the resolution. He recognized the efforts of First Vice-Chairman Tim Hanely, Second Vice-Chairman Tim Price, and Bill Ellert, Legislative Rep of Division 3 (Cleveland).


© 2003 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers