(Hartford, CT)— U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) today released the following statement in response to a new rule by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) requiring railroads to use redundant signal protection. More than eight years ago, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) urged the FRA – the federal agency responsible for rail safety – to require that railroads use redundant signal protection technology, such as shunting, to prevent railroad employees from being struck and killed by trains. According to the NTSB, this technology would likely have saved the life of Robert Luden in West Haven in May 2013 – as well as other railroad workers.
“This new rule is a historic milestone, and monument to Robert Luden, a dedicated railroad worker who died doing his job on the tracks. Now his tragic death – which inspired me to fight for this life-saving protection – will not have been in vain. For the Luden family, and all who have lost loved ones in such senseless, preventable tragedies, railroads should implement redundant signal protection immediately. Waiting for 2018 simply puts at risk more lives – and postpones the railroads' moral responsibility to protect their workers.”