Although highway-railroad crossing accidents represent only about two percent of all highway fatalities in the United States, they make up about sixty percent of all fatalities attributed to railroads. Recognizing this, the railroad industry, acting through the Association of American Railroads, expanded its efforts, in conjunction with the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Railroad Administration, to address the problem. Congress enacted legislation creating specific federal funding for safety improvements at crossings located on the federal highway system. These funds were made available through the Highway Safety Act of 1973. Congress continued to demonstrate support for the crossing safety program and their conviction that safety at highway-railroad crossings is a public responsibility by their passage of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1978. The Highway Safety Act of 1978 (Title II, Section 203) authorizes the appropriation of $760 million over the next four years for safety improvements at public highway-railroad crossings which have been identified and prioritized by the states. The Federal Aid-Highway Act of 1978 (Title I, Section 134) provides for $360 million for the continuation of the highway-railroad demonstration projects. The Highway Safety Act of 1978 has eliminated the previous distinction between roads on and off the federal-aid highway system, and provides that fifty percent of the available money will be apportioned to the states according to the ratio of the number of public crossings in each state to the total number of public crossings in the entire country.

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00310677
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Engineering Index
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 22 1980 12:00AM