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The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has launched a redesigned website as part of its ongoing effort to decrease fatalities at railroad crossings and on tracks, the agency announced today.
The new FRA portal offers more interactive features with downloadable fact sheets on safety, as well as an easier-to-use resource library, FRA and U.S. Department of Transportation officials said in a press release."Preventing fatalities at crossings and on tracks takes innovative solutions, increased enforcement actions, and robust safety education efforts," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "FRA's new website is an important tool to help us achieve our goal of zero deaths at crossings and along tracks."Last year, the FRA kicked off a comprehensive campaign to reverse the increase in fatalities at railroad crossings. The campaign includes working with Google and other technology companies to use FRA data that pinpoints the nation's 200,000 rail crossings to add crossing alerts to map applications. FRA also has worked with local law enforcement agencies to increase enforcement around crossings.In 2015, 244 individuals died at railroad crossings, down from 264 in 2014. However, fatalities due to rail trespassing increased 7.6 percent to 512 last year, and crossing-related injuries jumped 12.3 percent to 967, according to Operation Lifesaver Inc.Ninety-six percent of rail-related fatalities result from incidents at railroad crossings and from trespassers on railroad property, according to the FRA. Most of those fatalities are preventable, FRA officials said."Providing information on a clean, user friendly, and interactive website will help people stay safe around railroad crossings and tracks and get us one step closer to stopping these preventable deaths," said FRA Administrator Sarah Feinberg, who has set up a task force to address rail-crossing safety issues.