DOT requests survey of close-call rail incidents

March 18, 2010

The Department of Transportation on March 12 submitted another request for approval to collect safety culture data on close calls in the railroad industry.

According to a summary of the request (.pdf file), DOT's Research and Innovative Technology Administration intends to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget to collect the data in an effort to improve safety in the rail industry. The study would be conducted by researchers in the Federal Railroad Administration's Office of Human Factors and would examine the relationship between voluntary reports of close calls submitted to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics and safety issues and propose corrective actions.

Researchers define a "close call" as a situation in which an ongoing sequence of events was stopped from developing further, preventing the occurrence of potentially serious safety-related consequences. FRA in January submitted (.pdf file) a similar request to OMB.

The comment deadline is May 11.