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DeFazio Presses Tech Companies to Add Railroad Crossing Data to Mapping Apps to Save Lives

Sep 20, 2019
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR), and Chair of the Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee Daniel Lipinski (D-IL) sent a letter pressing 12 tech companies to incorporate rail crossing data into their navigation services, applications and devices that can help prevent accidents at highway-railroad at-grade crossings.

“Accidents at highway-railroad at-grade crossings (“grade crossings”) have taken a tremendous human toll throughout the decades and in small and large communities across the country… No amount of data will fully eliminate grade crossing accidents, but simple steps could help avoid numerous crashes and too many injuries,” the Members wrote.

Following a 2015 Metrolink train derailment in Oxnard, California the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) alerted 14 companies to its recommendation that highway-railroad at-grade crossing geographic data be incorporated into their navigation services, applications and devices. Nearly three years later, the NTSB has closed its recommendation for only two of those 14 companies. Today’s letter, sent by Chairs DeFazio and Lipinski, seeks information from the 12 remaining companies about what actions they have taken, or plan to take, to address this important safety issue. The recipients include: Apple; Google; HERE; INRIX; MapQuest; Microsoft; Omnitracs; OpenStreetMap; Sensys Networks; StreetLight Data; Teletrac Navman; and United Parcel Service. Properly implementing the NTSB’s recommendation would have noticeable positive impacts on safety.

Full text of the letter can be found here.