Louisiana State Legislative Director Chris Christianson reports that legislators in his state have introduced a two-person crew bill – HB-776 – March 31 in the state House of Representatives. The bill, as currently written, requires two persons on all freight trains with the exception of hostler service or utility employees.
The bill also provides for penalties if carriers choose to violate the bill after it becomes law. For a first offense, carriers will be charged a minimum of $500, but not more than $1,000. A second offense increases the minimum to $1,000, but not more than $5,000 when the second offense is committed within a three-year period. For three or more violations, the bill provides for a minimum penalty of $5,000, but not more than $10,000 per offense within a three-year period.
The Louisiana Legislature has been adjourned until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have a tough road ahead of us getting it passed with everything that is going on with COVID-19, but we are not going to give up,” Christianson said. “Right now, getting it moving in the Legislature will depend on how much time we have when the Legislature reconvenes.”