Increased Enforcement Leads to FRA's Highest-Ever Penalty Collection Rate

In an effort to increase overall rail safety, enforcement has been stepped up.

The Federal Railroad Administration announced that an increase in railroad safety regulations led to the highest-ever penalty collection rate in the agency's history. FRA will collect 75 percent of all civil penalties for FY2015, a 6 percent increase over FY2014. The total amount of civil penalties in FY2015 totaled $15 million.

"Safety must be the number one priority for every railroad, and the Department of Transportation will continue to take aggressive action against railroads who fail to follow safety rules," said U.S Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "A strong safety enforcement program is critical to prevent accidents, save lives, and move our country forward."

In addition, 29 percent of civil penalties last year were for motive power and equipment violations, followed by 26 percent for track violations.

"Setting a record for collections is an important milestone, but it is just one element of FRA's broader effort to achieve a safer rail system," said FRA Administrator Sarah E. Feinberg. "As we continue to aggressively enforce safety regulations, FRA will also continue to implement new, innovative solutions to increase safety."

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