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March 20, 2016

FRA launches new railroad crossing and trespassing portal to boost rail safety

The US Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has launched a newly designed website to help drivers, pedestrians and law enforcement agencies to stay safe around the country’s railroad crossings and tracks.

The US Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has launched a newly designed website to help drivers, pedestrians and law enforcement agencies to stay safe around the country’s railroad crossings and tracks.

The new portal has been launched under FRA’s current initiative, which seeks to reduce deaths at railroad crossings and tracks to zero by establishing partnerships that raise education, increase enforcement and leverage engineering.

Transportation secretary Anthony Foxx said: "Railroad crossings are in nearly every city and town across America.

"Preventing fatalities at crossings and on tracks takes innovative solutions, increased enforcement actions, and robust safety education efforts.

"FRA’s new website is an important tool to help us achieve our goal of zero deaths at crossings and along tracks."

"FRA’s new website is an important tool to help us achieve our goal of zero deaths at crossings and along tracks."

According to data available with FRA, 96% of rail-related fatalities, the majority of which are avoidable, are caused by incidents at railroad crossings and by trespassers.

In order to prevent such incidents, the new website includes more interactive features with downloadable factsheets on safety and an easy-to-navigate resource library, as well as streamlines the information about railroad crossing safety and trespass prevention.

FRA administrator Sarah Feinberg said: "Ending fatalities at railroad crossings and by trespassers is not a goal FRA can achieve with just another regulation or rule.

"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."

Last month, the FRA granted around $10m for nine projects in eight states to upgrade and increase the safety of railroad crossings along energy routes.

Additionally, funds provided to states through the US Federal Highway Administration’s section 130 Programme that finances towards eliminating hazards at railway-highway crossings, will be increased to $350m from $220m in this year.

Last year, FRA started a new, comprehensive campaign to reduce fatalities at railroad crossings and collaborated with Google and other tech companies to use the agency’s data that locates the country’s nearly 200,000 railroad crossings to add crossing alerts to map applications.

FRA has collaborated with local law enforcement agencies to boost enforcement around railroad crossings.

The agency stated that 244 people died at railroad crossings last year, down from 264 in 2014.

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