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NCJ Number: 77472 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Railroad Vandalism - Hearing Before the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Crime, March 9, 1977 on HR 4507
Corporate Author: US Congress
House Subcommittee on Crime
United States of America
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 134
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
US Congress
Washington, DC 20515
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Legislative/Regulatory Material
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Prior to deliberations over proposed legislation to make shooting and throwing objects at trains a Federal crime, the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Crime heard testimony on railroad vandalism from Federal agencies, representatives from railroad union and management associations, and workmen.
Abstract: The committee chairman opened the hearings by noting that acts of vandalism against U.S. railroads had injured over 42,000 persons and cost over $5.5 million in 1976. Moreover, railroad employees hurt in this manner were not eligible for benefits under the Federal Employees Liability Act since railroad negligence was not involved. A discussion of the proposed legislation by its sponsor emphasized that a new crime was not being created, but that railroad vandalism would become a Federal offense and enforcement efforts would no longer depend on local agencies and State laws. Officials from the Railway Labor Executive Association (RLEA) and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers (BLE) described several instances of vandalism and crime against railroad employees to demonstrate the extreme seriousness of the situation and States' inadequate responses. Although they favored the bill, they also felt that penalties for violations were inadequate. Existing Federal laws governing crimes against railroads were reviewed by the RLEA's attorney, and employees from ConRail, the Seaboard Coast Line, and the B & O railroads told how they had been seriously injured from objects thrown or shot at their trains. A representative from the Department of Justice opposed the bill on the grounds that investigations of vandalism committed by juveniles could be more effectively handled by local authorities than by the department. The hearings concluded with testimony from the Federal Railroad Administration's (FRA) Associate Administrator for Safety, who presented statistics on vandalism and discussed solutions that the FRA is considering, such as encouraging the use of safety glass in railroad cars. The report includes the test of H.R. 4507 as well as articles on railroad vandalism submitted by the RLEA and the BLE. The appendixes contain educational materials on railroad safety and statistical reports of railroad police activities for 1974-76 published by the American Association of Railroads.
Index Term(s): Occupational safety and health; Railroad law enforcement; Railroads; Vandalism
Note: Serial number 3.
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