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Nevada governor signs two-person crew bill

The bill signed by Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak requires Class I and II railroads to use a minimum of two crew members to operate freight trains through the state.
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Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak yesterday signed legislation requiring a minimum crew of two people on Class I and II freight trains operating in the state.

Railroads that violate the law will face fines of $5,000 for a first offense, $10,000 for a second offense within three years and $25,000 for a third offense, according to a press release issued by the SMART-TD labor organization.

Unions representing railroad workers have advocated for two-person crew legislation for years.

"Many people helped to get the word out about the public safety ramifications of this legislation," said Jason Doering, Nevada state legislative director for SMART-TD. "Those concerted efforts paid off, and now we’ve ensured that the state’s railways stay safe with two crew members in each freight train’s cab."

Assembly Bill 337 passed out of the Nevada State Senate on May 7 on a 13-7 party-line vote. The Nevada State Assembly had previously approved the bill by a 29-12 vote, according to a press release issued by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET).

"We let legislators know that A.B. 337 should be passed so that when things go wrong, two trained and experienced crew members are in the train cab to help, no matter what," said BLET Nevada State Legislative Board Chairman Matt Parker. "This is about the safety of the communities we travel through — not just for the train crews, but more importantly for the residents of those communities.

While rail labor groups support laws that require two-person crews, such legislation is opposed by the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/16/2019