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Rail News: Safety

New Jersey DOT unveils track safety plan

On Wednesday, New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) Commissioner James Simpson announced several initiatives aimed at promoting safety and reducing accidental fatalities along tracks.

The announcement follows a recent study by a railroad track safety committee that was formed in the wake of two incidents in October 2011 that claimed the lives of three teenagers and injured a fourth, NJDOT officials said in a prepared statement.

The initiatives, which are endorsed by NJDOT and New Jersey Transit, address three areas of safety: engineering, education and enforcement.

Engineering action items include a pilot program to evaluate the effectiveness of gate skirts and warning signs to indicate a “Second Train Coming.” The pilot program will be carried out by the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center under an agreement with the Federal Railroad Administration.

Education initiatives include retooling the state’s rail safety program presented in schools and community groups, while enforcement initiatives call for NJ Transit police to target high-risk areas to enforce state laws that prohibit ducking under crossing gates or other acts that disregard rail warning devices.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 2/10/2012