Target: John Boehner, Speaker of the House of Representatives
Goal: Avoid railroad shutdown by extending the deadline by which companies must implement safety measures.
America’s railroad companies have until the end of the year to install congressional mandated Positive Train Control (PTC) safety measures, and freight companies might not make the deadline despite their best efforts. Should the carriers miss the deadline, they will be forced to close their doors. Ninety-one percent of our major necessities are transported by train. Congress must extend the deadline so all railroad companies have time to comply with the new safety standards, or we’ll face a serious shortage of important commodities, including agricultural products.
Congress enacted the 2008 Rail Safety Improvement Act after a Metrolink train crashed in Los Angeles County and killed 25 people. An investigation into the accident revealed the engineer was text messaging and failed to slow the commuter train down to a safe speed before it reached a sharp turn. Another train derailment in Philadelphia earlier this year killed eight, and the cause of the accident was ruled excessive speed.
We know that human error causes many fatal accidents, regardless of the form of transportation, and PTC safety measures will monitor trains and slow them down remotely should an engineer fail to heed a danger warning. This will prevent train accidents and save countless lives, but the freight carriers need more time, as they have tens of thousands of miles of track to renovate.
The Senate has approved extending the Dec. 31, 2015 deadline for PTC installation. Now it’s time to encourage the House to do the same. Keep our railroads running by encouraging the House of Representatives to extend the Positive Train Control safety measure deadline.
Dear House Speaker Boehner,
As we reach the end of 2015, I am writing to encourage the House of Representatives to approach an extension of the Dec. 31, 2015 Positive Train Control safety measure deadline. The Senate has already approved an extension and the House must do the same; otherwise, America will face a serious shortage of necessary commodities throughout the land.
It’s understandable that commuter trains are prepared to meet this important deadline; they have far less track to renovate. The freight carriers have tens of thousands of miles of track to work on, and they need more time. We must give them that time, so they remain in business and continue to boost America’s economy.
Please encourage the House to extend the PTC deadline. Our nation’s economy depends on it.
[Your Name Here]
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