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New Jersey congressmen want greater transparency in rail safety audits

Wreckage from the NJ Transit crash in Hoboken last fall.
Photo – NTSB's Flickr account

U.S. Reps. Donald Payne Jr. (D-N.J.) and Albio Sires (D-N.J.) yesterday introduced legislation that would require the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to notify Congress when they conduct safety audits of railroads or transit agencies.

The bill also would require FRA and FTA administrators to report audit results to Congress within 90 days of an audit's completion, according to a press release issued by Payne's office.

The proposed law follows the September 2016 New Jersey Transit train crash in Hoboken that left one person dead and 110 injured. After the incident, it was revealed that the FRA had been conducting a "deep audit" of NJ Transit at the time of the incident, according to Payne's release.

The audit was in response to an uptick in safety violations, The Hill reported.

"We need to make sure that safety audits are transparent in order for Congress to provide effective oversight of rail transit agencies," Payne said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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