A July 27, 2006 AP story points to flaws in private railroad crossings that may be detrimental to the public. In an attempt to put more emphasis on improving safety at privately owned railroad crossings, the Federal government’s Transportation Department is considering a larger role in helping private landholders and railroad companies with this issue.
All of this comes in response to the latest statistics, including 400 railroad accidents per year at privately owned railroad crossings and 30 to 40 fatalities, which accounts for about 10% of all railroad crossing fatalities.
Louisiana has the fifth highest total number of railroad crossing deaths.
“We’ve had a tremendous improvement in the past decade at public crossings,” said Joseph Boardman, Federal Railroad Administration chief. “Fatalities have been reduced between a third to half. We’ve only had about a 10 percent drop in the deaths at private crossings in the same period of time, and we’ve actually seen an uptick recently. We’re concerned about the private properties.”