Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post

Railing against high fatalities at railroad crossings

Here is an underexposed public safety issue: railroad-crossing fatalities.

Jon Hilkevitch of the Chicago Tribune reports that in the past four years Illinois has had 98 deaths and 588 accidents at railroad-crossings. Now the Federal Railroad Administration – part of the Dept. of Transportation – has intervened, forcing Illinois and nine other states with high fatality rates to devise plans to reduce accidents. The ten states each have an entire year to come up with a safety plan and then five years for implementation.

Hilkevitch and the Trib deserve credit for a piece that contextualizes rail accidents not as random, isolated tragedies but something government can often prevent. Moreover, the building and repair of protective gates, tunnels and overpasses will grow in importance with the construction of new public transit projects. For Illinois, this most prominently includes a high-speed rail corridor from St. Louis to Chicago.

Leave a Comment