Railroad Industry Pushes Back Against Safety Regulations

As recent tragic train accidents fade from memory and passenger rail enjoys an upswing in popularity, some groups are trying to delay regulations that are meant to increase rail travel safety.

Amtrak’s passenger numbers are up, for example, between Chicago and Milwaukee. Across the country, Amtrak carried a record 30.2 million passengers in 2011. Railroad companies are expected to spend billions of dollars in 2012 to expand and upgrade the country’s network of tracks, according to the Association of American Railroads.

However, the implementation of key safety measures, which were passed into law four years ago after a train accident killed 25 in California, could be delayed. Railroads are required to install Positive Train Control by 2015. The track technology forces trains to slow when human error has them on a collision course. Crash investigators believe PTC would have prevented more than 20 train accidents since 2001.

PTC supporters say it saves lives and protects passengers and communities. PTC critics are generally opposed to regulation of a private industry and consider much of this mandate to be legislative overreach. The railroad industry is pushing to scale back the provisions of the 2015 mandate.

Chicago accident attorney Robert Briskman upholds the rights of those who are hurt from train accidents. To learn more, call 877-595-HURT (4878) or visit more of http://www.briskmanandbriskman.com.

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