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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 77473 Find in a Library
Title: Statement of Donald W Bennett, Associate Administrator for Safety, Federal Railroad Administration (From Railroad Vandalism - Hearing Before the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Crime, March 9, 1977, P 72-78, 1977 - See NCJ-77472)
Author(s): D W Bennett
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 7
Type: Legislative/Regulatory Material
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This statement, which was submitted by the Federal Railroad Administration's (FRA) Administrator for Safety to 1976 congressional hearings on legislation to make vandalism against trains a Federal crime, discusses the extent of vandalism and methods of combating the problem.
Abstract: FRA data show that vandalism on railroads consists primarily of stonings, shootings, signal obstructions, personal attacks, and track obstructions, which cause death and injury to employees and derailments of trains. Although it has been difficult to identify exact numbers of accidents caused by vandalism, information collected by the FRA and the American Association of Railroads reveals that such incidents increased considerably between 1975 and 1976. A 1972 study of railroad vandalism undertaken by the FRA found that vandalism increased when students were not in school and that inner city yards and tracks were particularly vulnerable. The study concluded that a variety of approaches were needed to address this complex problem, but that additional research into the causes of vandalism would not produce any practical solutions. Cargo security programs implemented in 1975 by the Department of Transportation in 15 major cities reduced attacks to railroad employees, even though this was not the programs' major objective. Demonstration projects in Philadelphia and East St. Louis proved that helicopter patrols over railroad facilities deterred trespassing, vandalism, and, to a lesser degree, theft. The FRA is also investigating the application of missile-resistant glazing to locomotives and cabooses to prevent injuries to railroad employees. The FRA has held several meetings with railroad companies to share information and discuss prevention strategies. Other suggestions to curtail vandalism from the FRA include better communication between railroad crews and local law enforcement bodies, school educational programs, increased railroad police surveillance, polycarbonate plastic protection for signal lenses, and improved recordkeeping systems. Statistical tables are provided.
Index Term(s): Occupational safety and health; Railroad law enforcement; Railroads; Testimony; Vandalism
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