Rail Worker Safety Has a New NTSB "Most Wanted List" of Transportation Improvements

Rail Worker Safety Has a New NTSB "Most Wanted List" of Transportation Improvements

The STB is issuing new rules on billing and plans affecting a new logistics park.

Since 1990, a National Transportation Safety Board “Most Wanted List” of transportation improvements was created for rail worker safety. The NTSB’s safety improvements were finalized at a board meeting Tuesday.

“Board members of the NTSB and our advocacy team continuously seek opportunities to communicate about items on our Most Wanted List,” said NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt. “As we begin advocacy efforts for the 2021 – 2022 MWL, we call upon our advocacy partners to amplify our safety messages and help us bring about the safety improvements that will make transportation safer for us all.”

The 2021-2022 list features 10 items with 100 safety recommendations. If these recommendations are implemented, they can significantly reduce the risk of transportation accidents and injuries as opposed to a broader list in years past.

The Surface Transportation Board announced a final rule regarding billing requirements. STB is implementing minimum information requirements for demurrage bills issued by Class I railroads. These requirements include: information on the billing cycle, credit and debit card information and more. The ruling was in regards to a two-day hearing in May 2019. The hearing allowed shippers to comment on Class I railroads, saying, the topics discussed were confusing, difficult to verify and lacked basic information. According to an article, the new rule is designed to improve the understanding of demurrage invoices.

“I anticipate that the rule will reduce the need for litigation or further regulatory intervention related to what should be fairly straightforward and routine commercial interactions, STB Chairman Martin J. Oberman said in a press release. “I further expect that the new rule will promote more productive dialogue between Class I railroads and rail users to either avoid unnecessary disputes over demurrage charges or hasten their resolution.”  

A news outlet reports, a developer in the Mobile, AL. area announced plans for a logistics park on a 1,300-acre site in connection to five Class I railroads as well as two interstates and one adjacent airport. The first phase of development will provide more than six million square feet of space. The city and county will each spend $3 million to develop roads and infrastructure on the site. Groundbreaking is expected in June.

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