Some policymakers and regulators are arguing that mandating minimum crew sizes for railroads would promote safety. If enacted, however, such regulations would raise the operating costs of freight railroads. That result, ironically, would lead to a heavier reliance on trucks, which is five times more dangerous than rail. That’s an odd way to promote safety. […]
This op-ed looks at legislation, introduced in Georgia, that seeks in increase the crew size on trains. Unfortunately, the regulations would not increase train safety. Instead, it would increase shipping cosst of consumer goods, thereby pushing more freight to trucks — all of which would increase traffic accidents, infrastructure wear and tear, and emissions. To […]
Preventing railroads from capitalizing on technological innovations would hinder the industry’s ability to control its costs, reduce resources available for additional safety measures, and raise costs on businesses that rely on freight railroads to ship their goods to market. And there’s no evidence that safety would improve.