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Chrissie Cole
Chrissie Cole
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California Train vs. Vehicle Fatalities on the Rise

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According to statistics from the Federal Railroad Administration, in 2006, 36 people were killed in a train vs. vehicle collision in California. A 63 percent rise from the previous year.

California, second to Texas, had 42 fatalities in highway-railroad crossing accidents. However, overall 2006 was a safer year for railroads in the state.

Total train accidents in California dropped 12 percent during 2006, compared to the prior year.

“This accomplishment is even more impressive considering rail traffic was at its highest point in history in 2006,” says Edward Hamberger, president and CEO of the Association of American Railroads, a lobbying group for the industry. “Quite simply, we moved more freight, with fewer accidents.”

2006 was the safest year for railroad employees, in terms of injury and fatalities and rates. The Federal Railroad Administration data shows that human error- the leading cause for train accidents – declined 20.2 percent.

The FRA says they have reduced accident rates by 70 percent since 1980. Employee injury rates by 81 percent. And finally over that same duration, crossing collision rates have fallen 76 percent.