Advisory committees Rail

Committee issues recommendations to improve safety of national freight system

Washington – The Department of Transportation’s National Freight Advisory Committee recently submitted recommendations to Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx for improving the national freight system.

The 81 recommendations, sent in June, include suggestions to improve safety and security across the freight rail network and address workforce development needs, among other issues.

The report recommends the encouragement of safety practices beyond minimum compliance and more rapid adoption of safety technologies, including those suggested by the National Transportation Safety Board.

The committee also is calling for the enhancement of worker safety and training requirements, including wellness and fatigue management, for all freight workers. Regulations can require minimum levels of training for all entry-level and new workers operating transportation equipment, the committee states.

Other recommendations for DOT: support research on national objectives of safety, efficiency and sustainability; and place high priority on causal factors of crashes, including operator fatigue and hours-of-service regulations.

About 5,000 deaths and 100,000 injuries associated with freight movement occurred in 2011, and most were associated with freight delivered on highways and roadways, the according to the report.