FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., announced Tuesday he will introduce new, comprehensive legislation to enforce and enhance rail safety in the wake of several tragedies and mishaps with Metro-North Railroad in Connecticut and New York.
“Cascading catastrophic crashes, devastating derailments, serious delays and service disruptions clearly show that our rail safety protocols, standards and management are woefully insufficient. Existing federal regulation and oversight has been shamefully inadequate, resulting in weak and ineffective fines, delayed investment in infrastructure and outdated safety protocols and technology," Blumenthal said in a statement. "Our rail system has been plagued by lax and sluggish oversight, and strong federal regulation is needed now.”
The new legislation will not only mandate the implementation of new technology and lifesaving measures, but it will also increase the Federal Railroad Administration's ability to levy fines and enforce penalties.
The bill will also call for the implementation of a fatigue management program for engineers and a national close-call confidential reporting system.