30th community enacts remote control safety resolution

As this issue of the Locomotive Engineer Newsletter goes to press, a total of 30 different communities -- 21 cities and nine counties -- have enacted safety resolutions that call for improved safety of remote control train operations.

Since the last Newsletter was published, the city councils of Flat Rock, Woodhaven and Flint all recently voted for resolutions against current remote control operations. All of the resolutions cite the danger to the residents of each city and ask the Federal Railroad Administration to conduct a review of the use of the technology.

In addition, the city council of Reno, Nevada, passed a remote control safety resolution on June 9th, becoming the 30th city to enact such a resolution.

Greg Powell, Chairman of the BLE's Michigan State Legislative Board, credited the BLE Divisions involved for their work on securing the passage of these resolutions.

Chairman Powell recognized BLE Division 850 (Flat Rock) Legislative Representative Dennis Prater, Division 850 member Fred Abar and the rest of Division 850 for their work on the Flat Rock resolution. He also thanked Flat Rock Councilman David Karoly and Mayor Richard C. Jones and the rest of the Flat Rock City Council for their efforts.

Powell credited the members of BLE Division 650 (Durand, Mich.) for their work on the Flint resolution, especially Division 650 Legislative Representative Bernard Cox. Chairman Powell also thanked the entire Flint City Council and City Clerk Inez M. Brown.

Also, Chairman Powell thanked the Mayor of Woodhaven, Karen M. Mazo, and the City Council, who were "really helpful."

Despite heavy oppposition from Union Pacific Railroad, the city of Sparks, Nevada, unanimously passed a remote control resolution on June 9. The Reno measure cites the possible danger to its citizens due to remote control and bans the use of remote controlled locomotives in the city until the Federal Railroad Administration takes action to improve the safety of the operations. The resolution was passed a few days after the BLE held its International Western Convention in the city.

The BLE's Nevada State Legislative Board Chairman Joe Carter was instrumental in gaining passage of the resolution. He said that several representatives of Union Pacific attended the meeting to oppose the resolution. Ted Lewis, Regional Safety Director, and Wayne Horiuchi, Union Pacific Lobbyist, voiced their opposition to the resolution, and Horiuchi presented a video and chart alleging the safety of the technology.

Chairman Carter extened thanks to BLE Division 158 (Sparks, Nev.) Local Chairman Lindy Klock for updating the remote control operations audio-video presentation. He would also like to thank BLE Division 236 (Portland, Ore.) member and mobilizer Jeff Cheney for his work in getting the resolution passed. Chairman Carter also wished to thank all of the City Council members.

In addition to Flint, Flat Rock and Woodhaven, Mich., and Sparks, Nevada, 17 other U.S. cities have adopted similar resolutions: Baton Rouge, La.; Detroit, Mich.; Shreveport, La.; Marysville, Mich.; Boston, Mass.; Cleveland, Ohio; Pine Bluff, Ark.; North Little Rock, Ark.; Beardstown, Ill.; Bakersfield, Calif.; Woodbridge, N.J.; Belen, N.M.; Maple Heights, Ohio; Alliance, Neb.; Evansville, Ind.; Dupo, Ill.; and Durand, Mich.

Also, nine counties have passed similar remote control resolutions. They are: Douglas County, Wisc.; West Baton Rouge Parish, La.; Point Coupee Parish, La.; Cuyahoga County, Ohio; Huron County, Ohio; Erie County, Ohio; Whitley County, Ky.; Unicoi County, Tenn.; and Contra Costa County, Calif.

PDF copies of the resolutions are available on the BLE website:







© 2003 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers