Matzie resolution declaring ‘Rail Safety Week’ approved by House

HARRISBURG, Sept. 13 – A resolution designating Sept. 24-30 as “Rail Safety Week” in Pennsylvania, sponsored by state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, earned overwhelming House approval today.

“Shockingly, in the United States, a person or vehicle is hit by a train about every three hours,” Matzie said. “We need a renewed dedication to saving lives near tracks and trains.” 

Matzie said the goals of H.R. 468 are to raise awareness across the commonwealth of the need for rail safety education and to empower the public to keep themselves safe near railroad tracks.

“While gains have been made in highway-rail crossing safety, much more remains to be done,” Matzie said, noting that while crossing collisions plummeted by 83 percent over the past four decades, preliminary 2016 federal statistics show crossing fatalities rose nearly 14 percent, resulting in 265 deaths.
Trespassing is an even bigger problem, Matzie said, as people are walking, exercising and taking pictures on or too close to railroad tracks. This resulted in 988 deaths and injuries – up nearly 15 percent from last year. 

Matzie’s resolution will run in conjunction with “U.S. Rail Safety Week,” with the common goal of reducing collisions, fatalities and injuries at highway-rail crossings and preventing trespassing on or near railroad tracks.

Video of Rep. Matzie speaking on H.R. 468 is available HERE.