FRA clarifies "Smartwatch" Rule – Fitbits restricted

The question? May an employee wear a device like a “Garmin Vivofit” or “Fitbit” wristband that acts like a watch, and counts the steps that an individual takes each day?  The devices are not searching for the internet, or Wifi, to do this and must be synchronized with Bluetooth on a separate device. The devices […]

Engineer says cell phone not factor in crash

The engineer of one of two ore trains that crashed head-on just outside of Two Harbors, Minn., in 2010 is taking issue with the National Transportation Safety Board report on the accident, disputing that cell phone use by the train crews was a relevant factor. In an exclusive interview with the News-Chronicle Feb. 20, Dan […]

2012 safest year in railroad history

Last year was the safest year in the history of the railroad industry, based on performance measures tracked by the Federal Railroad Administration. For the fifth fiscal year in a row, the industry has improved on all six of the FRA’s official safety performance measures, including the rate of grade crossing incidents, human factor-caused train […]

Distractions kill, maim and end careers

Distractions occur everywhere in our daily lives, but when those in safety sensitive positions are distracted on the job, the results too often result in death or career-ending injuries. A collaborative effort among the Federal Railroad Administration, rail labor and carriers has been launched to educate and raise awareness through peer-to-peer programs of the dangers […]

Safety alert: Electronic device ban

The Federal Railroad Administration’s permanent ban on use of electronic devices, including cellphones, became effective March 28, 2011. Please make careful note of the following: In the event of a collision, derailment or fatality, one of the first actions taken by National Transportation Safety Board investigators is pull the phone records of all crew members […]

A ‘ring, ring’ may cost you your job

The Federal Railroad Administration has a stark message for rail workers with safety-related duties: Only use your cell phone when allowed or you could lose your job. Emergency Order No. 26, which went into effect in October 2008, restricts the use by train crews and others in safety-sensitive positions of cell phones and other electronic […]

Federal cellphone ban for bus drivers

WASHINGTON — A national ban on cell-phone use by bus drivers has been proposed by the U.S. DOT. It is expected to be put in place before March. Bus drivers already are banned by federal regulation from texting while working. “Every time a commercial truck or bus driver takes his or her eyes off the road to […]

FRA to make cell-phone ban permanent

WASHINGTON — The Federal Railroad Administration has announced it will make permanent its Emergency Order No. 26 restricting the use by on-duty train crews of cell phones and other electronic devices. Some changes, as described below, are to be included in the permanent ban. The emergency order was issued in October 2008, and the permanent […]