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FRA collects highest civil penalty rate for rail safety violations

The Federal Railroad Administration's (FRA) stepped-up enforcement of railroad safety regulations has led to the highest-ever civil penalty collection rate in the agency's history, FRA officials announced today.

For fiscal-year 2015, the agency will collect 75 percent of all civil penalties for violating federal safety regulations, a 6 percent increase over FY2014. The agency collected $15 million in FY2015, a 12 percent increase over the previous year, according to an FRA press release.

The increase in civil penalty collections is an indication of the FRA's efforts to improve railroad safety by more stringent enforcement of regulations.

Last year, more than 6,485 railroad company violations resulted in civil penalties. The largest percentage of the violations — 29 percent — was for motive power and equipment violations; the second highest — 26 percent — was for track violations. Hazmat violations came in third at 20 percent.

"Setting a record for collections is an important milestone, but it is just one element of FRA's broader effort to achieve a safer rail system," said FRA Administrator Sarah Feinberg. "As we continue to aggressively enforce safety regulations, FRA will also continue to implement new, innovative solutions to increase safety."

The FRA's full report can be found here.

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