Greens Grade Crossing Provision Signed by President Bush
December 9, 2003
Washington, DC - Congressman Gene Greens amendment to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Reauthorization Act of 2003 was included in legislation (S. 579) signed by President Bush on Saturday December 6, 2003. The Green amendment was adopted in the House of Representatives by voice vote on May 15, 2003.
The Green amendment requires reports to Congress from the Secretary of Transportation on grade crossings safety. There are over 1000 grade crossings in Harris County, Texas and 144 in East End Houston, which Rep. Green represents.
I offered the amendment because grade crossings are a safety and quality of life issue and we need to eliminate them, Green said. Now federal law will require the NTSB to stay on top of grade crossing safety.
The first NTSB report on grade crossing safety will be due in one year on December 6, 2004. By publicizing the status of federal safety recommendations, Greens amendment puts public pressure on the railroads and agencies of the Department of Transportation to install safety equipment and eliminate grade crossings across the country.
I will continue to pursue other avenues to reduce the number of grade crossings in Harris County, especially in East End Houston which is congested with freight rail traffic.
The NTSB is a special, politically independent board which investigates transportation accidents and issues safety reports. In 1998, the NTSB published a comprehensive report on grade crossing safety with recommendations for the Department of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Federal Railroad Administration, the States, the Association of American Railroads, and other groups.