Reports to Congress

The Impact of Distracting Electronic Devices on the Safe Performance of Duties by Railroad Operating Employees : Initial Report of the Study Required by Section 405 of the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008

  • 27
  • May
  • 2010
SUBJECT: Cellular Telephones/Other Electronic Devices
ABSTRACT: Based on the historical record, rail transportation in the United States is an extremely safe mode of transportation. However, distraction of a railroad employee who is entrusted with safety-related duties has the potential, which has been realized in several accidents described below, to compromise performance and endanger the employee, coworkers, or members of the public. Accordingly, the RSIA required the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to conduct a study and prepare a report addressing this issue. FRA is responding to this mandate in two phases. This report addresses the information available concerning the effects of distraction on railroad operating employees, including train crews and other operating personnel, engaged both in the locomotive cab and on the ground during switching operations.