| Home > 106th Congressional Bills > H.R. 2379 (ih) To ensure that adequate frequencies of the electromagnetic spectrum are available for biomedical telemetry. [Introduced in House] ...
H.R. 2379 (ih) To ensure that adequate frequencies of the electromagnetic spectrum are available for biomedical telemetry. [Introduced in House] ...
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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