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house Bill H.R. 543

Should the Federal Railroad Administration Disclose When It’s Conducting Safety Assessments?

Argument in favor

Rail passengers and members of Congress need to be informed when their rail systems are being audited for safety issues. This is a matter of public safety, and there’s no reason for the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to keep its investigations confidential.

eliyak's Opinion
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02/06/2019
All federal documents are public property, and should be available to the public.
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Larry's Opinion
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02/07/2019
If taxpayers pay for it, they have a right to know everything their money bought.
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Frances's Opinion
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02/04/2019
WE NEED TO MAKE SURE THESE COMPANIES TO DO NOT SACRIFICE SAFETY TO MAKE MORE MONEY!
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Argument opposed

Keeping FRA investigations confidential until their results are available helps prevent unnecessary panic and the politicization of such investigations. Forcing the FRA to go public with its investigations before they conclude invites unnecessary additional pressure on investigators.

burrkitty's Opinion
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02/06/2019
Are we going to schedule them now to? Everything looks perfect when everybody knows an inspector is coming. It doesn’t capture actual day to day working conditions. Inspections only work if they are A. done constantly or B. done in secret. Unless you wanna pay inspectors to inspect way more often, you can’t make the knowledge of when an inspection is going to occur in public. Unless you just actually don’t care at all whether were safe or not.
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Mike's Opinion
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02/06/2019
It could interfere with the integrity of the investigation. I agree with quickly providing the results of the investigation, that just makes sense. I believe that doing the safety inspections should have zero notice to better capture the aspects of the train lines safety cultural.
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RjGoodman's Opinion
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02/06/2019
No! How does any organization do real safety reviews, or any reviews, if they tell the organization that they are under review?
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    All federal documents are public property, and should be available to the public.
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    Are we going to schedule them now to? Everything looks perfect when everybody knows an inspector is coming. It doesn’t capture actual day to day working conditions. Inspections only work if they are A. done constantly or B. done in secret. Unless you wanna pay inspectors to inspect way more often, you can’t make the knowledge of when an inspection is going to occur in public. Unless you just actually don’t care at all whether were safe or not.
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    It could interfere with the integrity of the investigation. I agree with quickly providing the results of the investigation, that just makes sense. I believe that doing the safety inspections should have zero notice to better capture the aspects of the train lines safety cultural.
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    No! How does any organization do real safety reviews, or any reviews, if they tell the organization that they are under review?
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    Unintended consequence of this would be the reluctance of conducting a safety audit since it will trigger such a public event. This could lead to a more dangerous system.
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    Absolutely not! Safety reviews should always come by surprise! That way, you can get an accurate assessment of the safety of our transportation systems. Local officials will just simply cover up any safety issues if they get advance notice!
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    I’m a former railroad conductor and the fact that inspections were done in secret was the only way to force the railroads to comply. This meant a safe work place for employees. If they know their compliance would only be when a inspection was announced. I know this because I lived it for 20 years.
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    If taxpayers pay for it, they have a right to know everything their money bought.
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    Not until Congress starts major subsidizing passenger rail and high speed rail across the US. Stop subsidizing airlines and bring forth another mode of cross country travel.
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    WE NEED TO MAKE SURE THESE COMPANIES TO DO NOT SACRIFICE SAFETY TO MAKE MORE MONEY!
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    Telling congress about an inspection would hold up fixing the railroad. It is better if surprise inspection to see where the need is to get it fix.
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    Just for their district? Not everyone’s? Hell, no! Same for all. No special perks for our “special” people in D.C. What will this cost us?
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    A combination of announced and unannounced audits typically provides the most accurate assessment of conditions. Districts should know they are due for a safety audit but not the precise timing, to preserve integrity. Or announce and schedule every other audit, but leave alternating audits unpublicized until they are complete. In any case, I do agree with making findings public as quickly as possible in line with transparency and accuracy.
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    This bill would remove any credible integrity from the assessment. While it should be required for the FRA to publicly publish any/all findings from an assessment, giving the district forewarning will only ensure all’s well just before the assessment takes place. Once it is completed, the district will likely be immune from other such visits for months or years. That’s plenty of time to take what should be a stellar safety program down almost immediately.
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    As needed basis; Not Big public announcement
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    They should be posting not only when they are performing safety inspections, but also their grade. Much like a restaurant... and industrial facilities... and airlines... and literally everything involving human health and possible risk. As far as "causing panic" goes... no body will panic because no body will read it anyway.
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    No early warning system.
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    Might as well stick up a RED FLAG & ANNOUNCE THE INSPECTION IS COMING. They’ll do some house cleaning and make it look good for the inspection. Now, if this question was meant to mean- the public needs to know what inspectors discover about railroads when inspections occur, THEN YES WE SHOULD KNOW.
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    Why stop at informing people when safety inspections occur and require them to obtain permission and schedule them in advance? How many OSHA, USDA, EPA and other regulatory agencies have to jump through these type of hoops to conduct inspections? Yeah, there is a reason why...
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    My money My employees My right to know wtf they are doing
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