FRA calls 1993-1999 safest years in rail history, but BLE says there's room for improvement
Federal Railroad Administration-led partnerships with rail labor, management and others helped reduce train accident fatalities by 87 percent, rail employee casualties by nearly 34 percent, and highway rail crossing fatalities by more than 35 percent, according to a new report released October 25 by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA).
This comprehensive rail transportation report on safety best practices and technology development indicates that since 1993 record safety lows were achieved while freight and passenger traffic increased to all time highs.
The report, FRA 2000 - Federal Railroad Administration - A Report to the Nation, is an extensive guide for rail transportation industry leaders, state and local government officials faced with the challenges and opportunities for rail transportation in their communities, and citizens who want to understand how rail transportation impacts their lives.
"Leadership, partnership and results - these three words embody the core spirit and professionalism of the women and men of today's Federal Railroad Administration," said Federal Railroad Administrator Jolene M. Molitoris. "Our job, however, is not done. With safety as our North Star and by working with our industry partners, we can achieve our ultimate goal of zero tolerance for accidents, injuries and fatalities in rail transportation."
While key statistical measures of fatalities, injuries and accidents are down dramatically, BLE President Edward Dubroski says there is room for improvement, given the high number of fatalities involving BLE members over the past seven years.
"Work still needs to be done," Dubroski said. "There have been BLE 32 members killed in the line of duty since 1993. Our Brotherhood will continue to fight for safety in memory of our fallen Brothers."
However, the BLE President complimented Administrator Molitoris for her fight to reach the goal of "zero tolerance" for injury and death in the rail industry.
"Administrator Molitoris has been driven in her goal of zero tolerance," he said. "Without question, her ability to foster working relationships between labor and management has helped improve safety."
The FRA is committed to making America's transportation system the safest, most economically sound and most environmentally friendly in the world. The Report sets the stage for future progress in achieving FRA's goal of zero tolerance for railroad safety hazards.
The report is available on the FRA website at http://www.fra.dot.gov.
memorial is available as a PDF for easier viewing.
© 2000 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers