FRA kicks off rail-crossing safety campaign

(Source: Progressive Railroading 03/06/2018)

The Federal Railroad Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have launched a $4.3 million campaign to educate the public about the dangers of railroad grade crossings.

Federal Railroad Administrator Ronald Batory announced the campaign at his swearing-in ceremony held last week.

“This subject matter will always be close to my heart, having personally experienced on board locomotive collisions with highway vehicles during my career, and in one instance a school bus full of children that thankfully emptied seconds prior to striking it,” said Batory.

About every three hours, a person or vehicle is hit by a train, according to the FRA. Last year, 232 people were fatally injured in accidents at rail crossings.

Safety will be a consistent theme during his tenure, Batory said.

Prior to being named FRA administrator, Batory spent 45 years in the rail industry, working for small and large railroads across the United States. Most recently, he served as served as president and chief operating officer of Conrail until his retirement in April 2017. Before that, he was president of the Belt Railway Co. of Chicago.

The campaign slogan is “Stop. Trains Can’t.” Public awareness materials include this video.