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H.R. 2379 (ih) To ensure that adequate frequencies of the electromagnetic spectrum are available for biomedical telemetry. [Introduced in House] ...


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108th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 2378

  To reform the safety practices of the railroad industry, to prevent 
 railroad fatalities, injuries, and hazardous materials releases, and 
                          for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                              June 5, 2003

   Mr. Oberstar (for himself, Ms. Corrine Brown of Florida, and Mr. 
   Filner) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the 
             Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
  To reform the safety practices of the railroad industry, to prevent 
 railroad fatalities, injuries, and hazardous materials releases, and 
                          for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

    (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Railroad Safety 
Reform Act of 2003''.
    (b) Table of Contents.--

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.
Sec. 2. Findings.
Sec. 3. Amendment of title 49, United States Code.
                       TITLE I--EMPLOYEE FATIGUE

Sec. 101. Definitions.
Sec. 102. Limitations on duty hours of train employees.
Sec. 103. Limitations on duty hours of signal employees.
Sec. 104. Limitations on duty hours of dispatching service employees 
                            and power directors.
Sec. 105. Employee sleeping quarters.
Sec. 106. Fatigue management plans.
Sec. 107. Conforming amendments.
Sec. 108. Limitations on duty hours of transport vehicle drivers.
Sec. 109. Electronic recordkeeping.
Sec. 110. Split shifts.
Sec. 111. Rotating shifts.
Sec. 112. Recommendations on hours of service changes.
            TITLE II--PROTECTION OF EMPLOYEES AND WITNESSES

Sec. 201. Expansion of employee protections.
Sec. 202. Employee reports.
Sec. 203. Audits of reporting.
Sec. 204. Interfering with or hampering safety investigations.
                    TITLE III--GRADE CROSSING SAFETY

Sec. 301. Toll-free number to report grade crossing problems.
Sec. 302. Grade crossing signal violations.
              TITLE IV--PASSENGER SERVICE SAFETY STANDARDS

Sec. 401. Emergency windows.
Sec. 402. Passenger railroad signal systems.
Sec. 403. Passenger locomotive fuel tanks.
Sec. 404. Positive train control.
               TITLE V--SAFETY RULEMAKING AND ENFORCEMENT

Sec. 501. Purpose.
Sec. 502. Railroad safety conference.
Sec. 503. Rulemaking process.
Sec. 504. Crane safety.
Sec. 505. Railroad car visibility.
Sec. 506. High-speed rail noise regulation.
Sec. 507. Track safety.
Sec. 508. Enhanced inspection and investigation authority under the 
                            Federal railroad safety laws.
Sec. 509. Expansion of emergency order authority.
Sec. 510. Safety inspectors.
                   TITLE VI--MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

Sec. 601. Safety considerations in grants or loans to commuter 
                            railroads.
Sec. 602. Technical amendments regarding adjustment of civil penalties 
                            for inflation.
Sec. 603. Certification of locomotive engineers and other safety-
                            related railroad personnel.
Sec. 604. Transport motor vehicle inspections.
Sec. 605. Conrail safety exemption.
Sec. 606. Seniority rights.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    The Congress makes the following findings:
            (1) The railroad industry has achieved a reduction in the 
        number of fatalities, and the number of some types of 
        accidents, such as collisions and grade-crossing accidents, has 
        fallen sharply. But the number of derailments and employee 
        fatalities has remained almost unchanged in recent years, and 
        some key safety issues have not been adequately addressed. 
        Employee fatigue remains a critical problem, and harassment and 
        intimidation of railroad employees continue to cast doubt on 
        the reliability of rail safety statistics and to create a 
        hostile working environment that is not conducive to safety. 
        Concerted efforts are needed to address these problems so that 
        railroad safety can be further improved.
            (2) The Safety Assurance and Compliance Program is an 
        approach to safety that emphasizes the active partnership of 
        the Federal Railroad Administration, rail labor 
        representatives, and railroad management in identifying current 
        safety problems and jointly developing effective solutions to 
        those problems. One fundamental principle of this approach is 
        tracing a safety problem to its root cause and attacking that 
        cause rather than only its symptoms. Where a problem is 
        determined to be system-wide, this approach calls for a system-
        wide solution. Under this approach, the Federal Railroad 
        Administration seeks to focus its inspection and enforcement 
        resources on the most serious safety problems. This approach 
        has demonstrated significant capacity for identifying and 
        eliminating the root cause of system-wide safety problems by 
        enlisting those most directly affected by such problems--
        railroad employees and managers--in a partnership effort. Used 
        together with the Federal Railroad Administration's regular 
        inspections and enforcement tools, this approach provides a 
        firm basis for addressing the safety challenges facing the 
        changing railroad industry and advancing toward the safety 
        program's ultimate goal of zero tolerance for any safety hazard 
        in the railroad industry.
            (3) The Railroad Safety Advisory Committee, which was 
        established under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. 
        App. 2), is proving to be an effective means of involving 
        interested members of the railroad community in the development 
        of railroad safety rules issued by the Federal Railroad 
        Administration. The continued use of this collaborative method 
        of developing safety regulations is more likely to produce 
        rules that are based on an industry consensus and, accordingly, 
        that are more readily understood and more consistently complied 
        with, than rules developed under more traditional methods.

SEC. 3. AMENDMENT OF TITLE 49, UNITED STATES CODE.

    Except as otherwise expressly provided, whenever in this Act an 
amendment or repeal is expressed in terms of an amendment to, or a 
repeal of, a section or other provision, the reference shall be 
considered to be made to a section or other provision of title 49, 
United States Code.

                       TITLE I--EMPLOYEE FATIGUE

SEC. 101. DEFINITIONS.

    Section 21101 is amended--
            (1) by amending paragraph (2) to read as follows:
            ``(2) `dispatching service employee' means an operator, 
        train dispatcher, or other train employee, including an 
        employee of an independent contractor, who--
                    ``(A) by the use of an electrical or mechanical 
                device dispatches, reports, transmits, receives, or 
                delivers orders related to or affecting train 
                movements; or
                    ``(B) directly supervises an employee who carries 
                out responsibilities described in subparagraph (A),
        but such term does not include a power director.'';
            (2) by redesignating paragraphs (3), (4), and (5), as 
        paragraphs (4), (7), and (8), respectively;
            (3) by inserting after paragraph (2) the following new 
        paragraph:
            ``(3) `dually employed' means being at the same time in the 
        employ of two or more railroad carriers, of two or more 
        independent contractors, or of both one or more railroad 
        carriers and one or more independent contractors.'';
            (4) in paragraph (4), as so redesignated by paragraph (2) 
        of this section, by striking ``or a train employee'' and 
        inserting ``a train employee, a power director, or a transport 
        vehicle driver'';
            (5) by inserting after paragraph (4), as so redesignated by 
        paragraph (2) of this section, the following new paragraphs:
            ``(5) `independent contractor' means an independent 
        contractor to a railroad carrier and includes a subcontractor 
        to an independent contractor.
            ``(6) `power director' means--
                    ``(A) a train employee, including an employee of an 
                independent contractor, who affects the movement of 
                trains through control of third rail or pantographic 
                electric power; and
                    ``(B) an individual, including an employee of an 
                independent contractor, who--
                            ``(i) supervises operations and 
                        sectionalizing of an electric power 
                        distribution system which transmits electrical 
                        energy for the propulsion of trains;
                            ``(ii) directs opening and closing of 
                        circuit breakers affecting the movement of 
                        trains and for the protection of employees and 
                        others engaged in work on, or in close 
                        proximity to, any portion of the electric power 
                        distribution system which transmits electrical 
                        energy for the propulsion of trains; or
                            ``(iii) disconnects and sectionalizes 
                        switches as required for the movement of trains 
                        and for the protection of employees and others 
                        engaged in work on, or in close proximity to, 
                        any portion of the electric power distribution 
                        system which transmits electrical energy for 
the propulsion of trains.'';
            (6) in paragraph (7), as so redesignated by paragraph (2) 
        of this section, by striking ``employed by a railroad carrier 
        who is engaged in installing, repairing, or maintaining signal 
        systems'' and inserting ``engaged in installing, repairing, or 
        maintaining signal systems, including an employee of an 
        independent contractor, and including any individual who 
        directly supervises an individual engaged in those 
        activities'';
            (7) in paragraph (8), as so redesignated by paragraph (2) 
        of this section, by inserting ``and an employee of an 
        independent contractor, and any individual who directly 
        supervises an individual engaged in those activities'' after 
        ``including a hostler''; and
            (8) by adding at the end the following new paragraphs:
            ``(9) `transport motor vehicle' means a motor vehicle used 
        to transport any person employed by a railroad carrier or its 
        independent contractors to or from a work site.
            ``(10) `transport vehicle driver' means a manager, 
        supervisor, official, agent, or other employee of a railroad 
        carrier or its independent contractor who drives a transport 
        motor vehicle to or from a work site for the purpose of 
        transporting persons employed by a railroad carrier or its 
        independent contractors.''.

SEC. 102. LIMITATIONS ON DUTY HOURS OF TRAIN EMPLOYEES.

    (a) General Rules.--Section 21103(a) is amended--
            (1) by striking ``officers'' and inserting ``managers, 
        supervisors, officers,''; and
            (2) by striking paragraphs (1) and (2) and inserting in 
        lieu thereof the following:
            ``(1) unless that employee, during the prior 24 hours, has 
        had at least 8 consecutive hours off duty, during which the 
        employee receives no communication from such employing railroad 
        carrier or its managers, supervisors, officers, and agents;
            ``(2) for a period in excess of 12 consecutive hours;
            ``(3) after that employee has been on duty for 10 or more 
        consecutive hours, unless that employee immediately after being 
        released from such period of duty has at least 10 consecutive 
        hours off duty;
            ``(4) unless that employee has received notice at least 8 
        hours before beginning such duty;
            ``(5) unless that employee has had at least one period of 
        at least 24 consecutive hours off duty in the past 7 days; and
            ``(6) unless, when last released from duty at that 
        employee's home terminal, the employee had as much time off 
        duty at the employee's home terminal as the employee most 
        recently had off duty at an away-from-home designated terminal 
        of the employee.
In the case of a dually employed employee, a railroad carrier shall not 
be held responsible for violating this subsection because of the 
employee's work schedule for another employer if none of the railroad 
carrier's managers, supervisors, officers, and agents had actual 
knowledge of that work schedule. For purposes of the preceding 
sentence, a railroad carrier's managers, supervisors, officers, and 
agents shall be considered to have actual knowledge of the work 
schedules of the train employees of its independent contractors. A 
railroad carrier shall be held responsible for the actions of its 
independent contractors in requiring or allowing a train employee to 
remain or go on duty.''.
    (b) Determining Time on Duty.--Section 21103(b) is amended--
            (1) in paragraph (3), by striking ``the railroad carrier'' 
        and inserting ``a railroad carrier or independent contractor'';
            (2) in paragraph (4), by inserting ``or waiting on a train 
        for deadhead transportation from a duty assignment'' after ``to 
        a duty assignment'';
            (3) in paragraph (7)(D), by striking ``officer or agent'' 
        and inserting ``manager, supervisor, officer, or agent''; and
            (4) by inserting the following new paragraph at the end:
            ``(8) All time on duty for any railroad carrier or 
        independent contractor shall be included.''.
    (c) Notice About Dual Employment.--Section 21103 is amended by 
adding at the end the following new subsection:
    ``(d) Notice About Dual Employment.--(1) Not later than January 31 
each year, a railroad carrier shall inform in writing each train 
employee engaged in or connected with the movement of a train the 
railroad carrier operates--
            ``(A) that all time spent performing aggregate duty for one 
        or more railroad carriers and one or more independent 
contractors counts as time on duty under this section;
            ``(B) about the employee's responsibilities under paragraph 

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