SMART TD, BLET petition FRA for speed signs

Published: January 15, 2016

John Risch

John Risch

SMART TD and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen (BLET) have submitted a petition to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) for rulemaking that mandates uniform warning speed signs in advance of a permanent speed restriction.

SMART TD National Legislative Director John Risch said, “Not having speed signs would be like listing all the traffic speeds on your state highway maps, then taking down the signs on the highways. People overlook things and need this physical reminder. Speed signs are vital to operating crews’ safe operation of trains. It’s amazing to me that some railroads don’t have them and others are taking them down.”

Below is the petition submitted to the FRA:

“The International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers – Transportation Division and The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen hereby petitions FRA for rulemaking that mandates uniform warning speed signs in advance of a permanent speed restriction. The signs should be standardized as to dimensions, conspicuousness, and color.

“Recently, some railroads have begun removal of these safety indicators, which creates a hazard for operating crews and the public. In the interest of safety it is necessary to warn road crews of an upcoming speed restriction which otherwise might not be readily apparent. Just as it is unreasonable for a motorist to know each speed restriction without a warning, the same is true for railroad crews. Unlike automobile travel, where speeds can be reduced promptly, trains are unable to comply with a speed restriction without prior knowledge.”