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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Slight rise in nation's transportation deaths last year, NTSB says


U.S. rail fatalities last year increased to 795 compared with 770 in 2000 — reflecting a rise in pedestrian deaths associated with intercity rail operations — but train passenger fatalities declined from four to three, and deaths occurring on light, heavy and commuter rails dropped from 194 to 175, according to preliminary figures released July 12 by National Transportation Safety Board.

Overall, U.S. transportation fatalities last year totaled 44,461, increasing 0.6 percent compared with 44,196 fatalities in 2000.

Meanwhile, highway fatalities (which account for about 94 percent of all transportation deaths) last year declined slightly from 41,730 to 41,821; highway-rail crossing deaths also dropped from 425 to 418.

In aviation, fatalities rose from 779 in 2000 to 1,162 in 2001 — an increase largely attributable Sept. 11, NTSB said. But general aviation fatalities decreased from 594 to 553, and air taxi deaths, from 71 to 60.

Marine fatalities also dropped, from 801 to 767, with most deaths occurring in recreational boating, as did pipeline fatalities, from 38 to seven (with deaths related to gas pipelines decreasing from 37 to seven).

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/15/2002