A final rule published Monday by the Federal Railroad Administration gives states with the worst grade crossing safety records one year from Aug. 27 to complete five-year action plans that address the problem.
The states—Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia,Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Ohio, and Texas—are the 10 with the highest number grade crossing accidents/incidents on average during 2006, 2007, and 2008.
“States can reasonably develop such plans within one year from the date this regulation goes into effect,” states the rule. “A five-year period is appropriate because many of the remedial actions that may be included in these plans (e.g., closures and grade separations) may take up to five years to implement. In addition, any identified State that has already developed an action plan in conjunction with a recommendation from DOT’s Office of Inspector General must ensure compliance with this final rule and must resubmit the plan as required.”