Audit of Oversight of Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Accident Reporting, Investigations, and Safety Regulations, Federal Railroad Administration

This report presents the results of the Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) third audit of the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA)activities to oversee safety on the nation’s highway-rail grade crossings (grade crossings). The report addresses three grade crossing safety issues raised in articles published by The New York Times in July 2004. These articles alleged problems with railroad accident reporting, investigations at grade crossings, and several other safety issues. The audit was conducted at the request of Representative James L. Oberstar, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure; Representative Corrine Brown, Ranking Member of the House Subcommittee on Railroads; and then-Senator Ernest F. Hollings, Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. Senator Daniel K. Inouye, Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science, joined the original requesters of this audit, following Senator Hollings, retirement. The objective of this audit was to assess the adequacy of FRA’s oversight of grade crossing (1) accident reporting to the National Response Center (NRC), (2) accident investigations, and (3) enforcement of safety regulations. Trespassing fatalities and injuries on railroad property were not included in this audit. The focus of this audit differed significantly from the second grade crossing safety report the OIG issued on June 16, 2004. The 2004 report focused on the Department of Transportation’s (Department) progress in implementing its 1994 Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Safety Action Plan and identified areas for targeting future improvements. This audit focused on whether FRA has exercised adequate oversight of the extent to which railroads have complied with regulatory requirements to immediately report grade crossing collisions to NRC, investigate collisions, and maintain automated crossing warning signals. A fourth audit report will soon be issued assessing the adequacy of FRA’s oversight of grade crossing accident reporting to FRA and control of vegetation at grade crossings.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Tables;
  • Pagination: 37p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01013296
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: MH-2006-016
  • Files: TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Dec 15 2005 1:35PM