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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

FRA creates strategy to prevent railroad trespassing

Ronald Batory
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The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) yesterday released the first "National Strategy to Prevent Trespassing on Railroad Property," a report that examines factors that contribute to trespassing incidents on railroad property and lists strategies to prevent them.

The strategy to prevent trespassing includes four focus areas: 

  • data gathering and analysis of trespass incidents and close-calls to enable FRA to target its resources to trespassing "hot spots;"  
  • community site visits that will determine specific circumstances that contribute to trespassing, and how the FRA can help implement and evaluate targeted mitigation strategies;
  • the request and providing of funding to support community efforts to deter trespassing; and
  • partnerships with stakeholders such as law enforcement and railroads, which will enable FRA to leverage and concentrate available resources, expertise and local knowledge to combat trespassing.

In the report, FRA also examined casualties between November 2013 and October 2017. Nationwide, 4,242 pedestrians were killed or injured while trespassing on railroad property nationwide (excluding suicides). The top 10 counties where the most trespasser casualties occurred during this period were in Cook, Illinois; Harris, Texas; the California counties of Los Angeles, Contra Costa, Fresno, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego; and the Florida counties of Broward and Palm Beach.

“Almost every trespasser death or injury is preventable and FRA is working to intensify our efforts," said FRA Administrator Ronald Batory in a press release. “Now that we have examined current data on contributing factors of the problem, we are seeking to energize our state and local partners to implement solutions and save lives."

FRA will measure the strategy's success by the reductions in trespassing incidents and casualties nationwide.

To view the full downloadable report, visit the FRA website here.