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Rail News: Safety

Rail-related deaths, total transportation fatalities fell in 2003, NTSB says


Last year, U.S. transportation fatalities fell 1 percent to 44,888 and total rail-related deaths decreased 11 percent to 767 compared with 2002 data, according to preliminary figures recently released by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

Grade crossing fatalities declined nearly 8 percent to 329. Rail passenger deaths dropped from seven in 2002 to two in 2003, while light, heavy and commuter rail-related fatalities decreased from 220 to 173.

In addition, year-over-year highway fatalities fell to 42,643 from 43,005 and marine fatalities decreased to 759 from 809.

"I am very pleased to see the decrease in transportation fatalities, but until that number is zero there is still work to be done," said NTSB Chairman Ellen Engleman Conners in a prepared statement.

Aviation was the only transportation mode that registered an increase in year-over-year fatalities, from 625 in 2002 to 707 in 2003.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/13/2004