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New Jersey rail safety committee outlines efforts to reduce crossing fatalities


Yesterday, Transportation Commissioner and New Jersey Transit Board Chairman James Simpson and members of the New Jersey Safety at Railroad Crossings Leadership Oversight Committee provided an overview of tactics that will be implemented to reduce fatalities and accidents at grade crossings.

The committee set out to take a fresh look at the state’s rail network with a “mandate” to do everything possible to prevent fatalities on the rail system, such as the death of a 13-year-old boy in Garfield, N.J., last month, Simpson said in a prepared statement.

The committee is comprised of representatives from the Federal Railroad Administration, Federal Highway Administration, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, New Jersey Department of Education, state police, Motor Vehicle Commission, NJ Transit and other agencies.

The group was tasked with developing strategies in engineering, enforcement and education in order to ramp up safety across the state’s rail network, particularly in areas where trains travel through densely populated neighborhoods, NJ Transit officials said.

“The aim of this committee is to create new partnerships and renew existing ones with other agencies at the state and federal levels to develop new tactics for enhancing rail safety,” said NJ Transit Executive Director James Weinstein.

One of the recommended approaches is for NJ Transit and the New Jersey Department of Transportation to perform a “comprehensive re-inspection” of rail, light-rail and bus systems to look for areas where additional safety measures can be implemented, officials said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 11/10/2011