When we say that safety is our top priority, we aren't kidding around. And today, we're taking another step to put safety at your fingertips with the Federal Railroad Administration's Rail Crossing Locator.
With this free app for iOS, users with an iPhone or iPad can have the entire inventory of U.S. rail crossings in their pockets. The Rail Crossing Locator allows you to access information wherever you are to improve neighborhood safety and make better personal travel choices.
When users enter a specific location, the app displays highway-rail grade crossings in that area. For each crossing, it displays important information like whether the crossing is at-grade, above-grade, or below-grade and the type of traffic control device the crossing uses.
The app also allows users to report information about grade crossings to FRA. Because the database of rail crossings relies on railroad self-reporting, app users who keep us informed of inaccuracies will help us ensure that the information we make available to the public is more accurate and up-to-date.
Telling FRA about a crossing is a great way to contribute to your community's safety, and it's a feature of the app that we're really excited about.
Over the past decade, highway-rail incidents have declined by 34 percent, and deaths resulting from these events have fallen 30 percent. However, while the total number of those incidents has been trending downward, collisions at highway-rail crossings still remain a safety challenge. Last year alone, highway-rail crossing collisions accounted for nearly 20 percent of all reportable rail accidents and incidents, and they represented nearly one-third of all rail-related fatalities.
As Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph Szabo, said, “While we’ve made significant progress reducing highway-grade crossing incidents over the last decade, much more work remains to be done. This technology will be one more tool to help us reach our goal of zero fatalities.”
Education, engineering, and enforcement have contributed to the continuing decline in crossing incidents and the injuries and fatalities that result. The app --available in the Apple App Store today-- gives us yet another avenue for improving safety.
The new FRA Rail Crossing Locator app is the third mobile safety tool based on DOT data, taking its place next to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's SaferBus and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's SaferCar.
They're all part of our pursuit of transportation safety and the Obama Administration's open data initiative to put the power of your government in the palm of your hand.