BLE scores another legislative victory in Pennsylvania

Bill protects train crews from showing auto drivers license after rail accidents; Bill moves to Senate

On April 2, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers' Pennsylvania State Legislative Board won another victory in the Pennsylvania General Assembly for the rights of all train crew members.

House Bill Number 387, introduced by Rep. Lynn Herman (R-77), amended HB 1248 and would prohibit police from requesting to see a locomotive engineer's drivers license in the event of an accident. The bill now waits for referral to the Pennsylvania Senate.

The bill reads: "no engineer, conductor, brakeman or any other member of the crew of a locomotive or train being operated upon rails, including operation on a railroad crossing over a public street, road or highway, shall be required to exhibit their driver's license upon demand by a police officer in connection with the operation of a locomotive or train within this commonwealth."

"What the BLE Pennsylvania Legislative Board sought was protection for locomotive engineers and their Pennsylvania drivers licenses in the event of any type incident," said Pennsylvania State Legislative Board Chairman Ken Kertesz. "Often, information taken from the drivers licenses by police authorities is turned over to auto insurance companies and this can be misconstrued as having a motor vehicle accident. Clearly, a locomotive is not a motor vehicle under Pennsylvania code.

"This bill, when referred to the Pennsylvania Senate and hopefully enacted, will protect our members and their civil rights," Chairman Kertesz continued. "We thank Representatives Herman, Geist, Veon and the other 193 State Representatives who saw fit to endorse legislation so vitally needed."

On March 12, the Pennsylvania State House passed HB 1247, which would prohibit freight locomotives from operating in reverse or in the backup position on main and secondary lines. The bill, strongly supported by the BLE, passed the House 198-1, and was referred to the Pennsylvania Senate Transportation Committee for action.

 

© 2002 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers