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Rail News: Safety

NTSB: Total transportation fatalities fell in 2013, but rail-related deaths climbed


U.S. transportation fatalities in 2013 decreased 3 percent compared with 2012's figure, according to preliminary data released by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
Fatalities in all transportation modes totaled 34,678 in 2013 versus 35,796 in 2012. Although rail deaths increased, fatalities in the marine, aviation, highway and pipeline transportation sectors declined, NTSB officials said in a press release.

Railroad deaths increased 6 percent from 840 in 2012 to 891 in 2013, the vast majority of which were trespassers struck by trains, they said. Trespasser and non-trespasser fatalities totaled 520, while commuter-, heavy- and light-rail fatalities totaled 345. Employee and contractor deaths numbered 20, and passenger deaths totaled six.
"While this [overall] decrease represents a good trend, much more work needs to done, because 35,000 deaths is very troubling," said NTSB Acting Chairman Christopher Hart. "NTSB continues to address safety issues in all modes to reduce deaths and injuries on our roads, rails and waterways, as well as in our skies."
The board's preliminary 2013 statistics also show U.S. roadway deaths — which account for nearly 94 percent of all transportation fatalities — decreased from 33,782 in 2012 to 32,719 in 2013, aviation deaths decreased from 451 to 443, and marine deaths dropped from 711 to 615.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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