SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (KFVS) - Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker has passed a measure addressing the lack of federal railroad safety regulations by establishing a mandatory crew size for freight trains on Illinois railroads.
The measure was presented by state representative Jay Hoffman, (D-Swansea).
“Currently, there are no laws on the books on the state or federal level to determine or regulate how many crew members are necessary to safely operate a freight train,” said Hoffman. “My legislation will address this huge public safety issue by requiring freight trains on our state railroads to have a minimum of two crew members.”
A 2017 Trump administration change in an Obama era rule implementation eases the number of crew members required on domestic freight traffic from a minimum of two.
Hoffman’s Senate Bill 24 coupled with rising concerns on the number of crew members needed to operate freight trains led to Gov. Pritzker signing the bill into law. The measure would reinstate the Obama era regulation at the state level. Additionally, it authorizes the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) the ability to intervene in the enforcement of crew size.
“This new law will ensure that our railways are as safe as possible for the public, engineers and other train crew members,” continued Hoffman. “I thank the governor for signing this legislation into law and addressing this public safety issue.”