ACCIDENTS THAT SHOULDN'T HAPPEN: A REPORT OF THE GRADE CROSSINGS SAFETY TASK FORCE TO SECRETARY FEDERICO PENA

This final report of the Grade Crossing Safety Task Force was developed following the tragic accident of October 25, 1995, in Fox River Grove, Illinois. Seven students lost their lives when the school bus they were riding in was struck by a commuter train. Representatives of the Federal Railroad Administration, the FHWA, the FTA, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration collectively took up the task to examine grade crossing safety and to formulate recommendations to help prevent tragedies such as occurred at Fox River Grove from happening again. The findings and recommendations are documented in this report. The report explains how a lack of information and/or guidelines in the design, construction, operation, maintenance, and inspection of grade crossings led the task force to identify the following 5 safety problem areas for detailed examination: interconnected signals; vehicle storage space; high-profile crossings; light rail transit crossings; and special vehicle operations. Each of the 5 problem areas is discussed separately along with the lessons learned. The report recommends 24 specific follow-on actions to address both physical and procedural deficiencies. Reliance on existing opportunities is emphasized by recommendations that encourage grade crossing safety through coordinated inspections, law enforcement, and driver education. To implement these recommendations the task force has identified immediate steps that the Department will take to work with their constituents in defining a cooperative strategy for improving grade crossing safety. Overall, the principal finding of this report is consistent with and fully supports that of the Rail-Highway Crossing Safety Action Plan announced by the Secretary in 1994, namely: improved highway-rail grade crossing safety depends upon better cooperation, communication, and education among responsible parties if accidents and fatalities are to be reduced significantly. october 25, 1995, in Fox River Grove, Illinois

  • Record URL:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Department of Transportation

    Grade Crossing Safety Task Force, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Publication Date: 1996-3

Language

  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 17 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00720960
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Federal Transit Administration
  • Files: NTL, TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: May 21 1996 12:00AM