Railroads Rack Up $15 Million in 2016 Penalties
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Transportation Department says it assessed more than $15 million in civil penalties against the U.S. railroad industry this year for safety violations and other infractions, a slight increase over 2015.
Friday's announcement came as Union Pacific, the nation's largest freight railroad, agreed to improve safety on lines used to haul crude oil following a fiery June derailment in Oregon.
There have been at least 27 oil train accidents across North America over the past decade. A 2013 wreck and explosion killed 47 people in Quebec.
Of the major railroads, BNSF Railway racked up the most penalties in 2016, totaling $3.4 million. Union Pacific had $3 million in penalties from more than 1,000 violations.
Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement that the Federal Railroad Administration's enforcement program helps prevent needless accidents and deaths.