Rep. Greens Grade Crossing Amendment Passes House
May 15, 2003
Washington, DC - Today, Rep. Gene Green (D-Houston) offered an amendment on the floor of the House of Representatives to H.R. 1527, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Reauthorization Act of 2003. The Green amendment requires the Secretary of Transportation report to Congress on the status of federal safety recommendations on grade crossings. After a debate, the amendment was adopted by voice vote.
I offered the amendment because grade crossings are a safety and quality of life issue, said Green. In light of the terrible decision on San Jacinto rail last week, we have to intensify our efforts to eliminate them,
The NTSB is a 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.
By publicizing the status of federal safety recommendations, Greens amendment would pressure agencies of the Department of Transportation and the railroads to install safety equipment and eliminate grade crossings across the country.
There are over 1000 grade crossings in Harris County, Texas and 144 in Houstons East End, which Green represents.
During debate on the floor, the floor manager of the bill, Subcommittee Chairman Mica (R-FL), pledged to address the issue again in future rail and highway legislation.
Rep. Green welcomed that commitment, Ill be back when the Surface Transportation Board is reauthorized.