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FDOT launches statewide rail crossing safety initiative

railroad crossing
Posted at 5:16 AM, Dec 06, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida Department of Transpiration launched a statewide rail crossing safety initiative on Thursday.

“One fatality on our rail crossings is one too many, and I am committed to doing everything I can as Secretary to prevent additional tragedies from occurring across our state,” said FDOT Secretary Kevin J. Thibault, P.E. “Under the leadership of Governor DeSantis, FDOT has been empowered to implement bold ideas that will increase the safety of our transportation system, and I am confident today’s directive not only exceeds industry safety standards, but it also designates Florida as a nationwide leader in rail safety.”

The department says the initiative is part of its promise to ensure safety is a top priority across the state's rail corridors. Thibault says the explicit goal of the program is to prevent additional fatalities on or near rail crossings.

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The initiative includes the following actions:

  • Immediately begin implementing an engineering countermeasure called “dynamic envelopes” at every existing FDOT roadway and state-owned land rail crossing across the state.
  • Require the inclusion of a dynamic envelope in the standard design of any future railroad crossings on FDOT roadways or state-owned land rail crossings.
  • Launch a data-driven statewide rail safety education initiative. “Operation STRIDE” (Statewide Traffic and Railroad Initiative using Dynamic Envelopes) will be conducted in conjunction with rail partners to include earned, social, and digital media.
  • Partner with state and local law enforcement agencies, including the Florida Highway Patrol, sheriffs, and police chiefs, to help enforce rail safety laws.
  • Continue to partner with local and private rail partners by sharing FDOT rail safety design standards and framework and encouraging their participation and implementation of the safety and engineering efforts

“This announcement truly showcases that FDOT is committed to keeping those who utilize the state’s transportation system safe and could serve as a national model,” said Florida Transportation Commission Chairman, Ronald Howse, P.E. “I applaud the Governor’s leadership and Secretary Thibault’s bold and unprecedented actions to address rail safety in Florida.”