Transportation Safety


Important issues:

FRA issues emergency order on train car movement

NTSB urges action on speed-restriction compliance

FRA Advisory: Switching dangers

Engineer and conductor certification

Close call

Positive Train Control

Cellphone ban

Hours of service regulations

Be aware of your ‘whistleblower protections’

SMART Transportation Division has no higher priority than fighting for laws, regulations and work rules that ensure our members go home to their families in one piece.

We know that the railroad industry is one of the most dangerous, where accidents too often result in career-ending injuries or death.

Danger similarly lurks for bus, commuter, production and transit workers, and that is why our efforts include fighting for safer bus and passenger car construction, and increased training in the handling of unruly passengers with our staff constantly monitoring changes to OSHA and other occupational regulations.

In addition to our efforts before Congress, state legislatures and regulatory agencies, as well as the negotiating table, to advance workplace safety, we have several dedicated teams that study safety issues and make recommendations — the Switching Operations Fatalities Analysis (SOFA) working group, the SMART Transportation Division National Safety Team and the SMART Rail Safety Task Force.

The Switching Operations Fatalities Analysis (SOFA) working group is a coordinated effort with the Federal Railroad Administration, carriers and labor organizations to develop safe practices that reduce fatalities and career ending injuries in yard switching operations.

The 21-member SMART Transportation Division National Safety Team assists National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigators in ascertaining facts relating to rail accidents.

The SMART Rail Safety Task Force works with general chairpersons, state legislative directors, local officers and members to develop safe practices and techniques to improve — and keep at its highest level — situational awareness in yard and road operations.

SMART TD Safety Efforts Fatigue, Drug
and A
lcohol Testing
Safety Laws and Recommendations Other important websites
SMART TD has several dedicated teams that study safety issues and make recommendations.

SMART Transportation Division National Safety Team

SMART Railroad Safety Task Force

Switching Operations Fatality Analysis (SOFA)

Fatigue is the top danger facing transportation workers today. For more information about this problem and to view a series of online presentations concerning fatigue, click on the link below.


What You Need to Know About Federal Drug and Alcohol Testing provides general information on federal drug and alcohol testing for railroad hours of service employees.

FRA post-accident testing criteria/flowchart (01/01/14)

DOT’s Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy Compliance

FRA Part 40 (08/06/15)

Summary of Part 40 drug and alcohol amendments

Powerpoint: FRA Drug and Alcohol presentation

DOT’s direct observation procedures

Railroad safety laws are contained in a number of statutes and regulations. Below are links to a general summary of many of those laws. They should be used as a guide only, and if a specific problem arises, the applicable law or regulation should be reviewed. There are also links to government safety advisories and safety recommendations.

Safety laws

FRA Electronic and Electrical Device Flowchart (10/20/08)

Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008

Close call programs

FRA’s Collaborative Incident Analysis and Human Performance Handbook (2014)

Be aware of your ‘whistleblower protections’

Federal Railroad Administration

FRA Office of Safety

FRA safety data

FRA regulations

FRA online accident investigation reports

National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)

NTSB safety recommendations