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CPUC To Discuss Innovative Rail Safety Project at Bakersfield Voting Meeting

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Public rail crossings are one of the deadliest sites that the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) regulates. Approximately every three hours in the U.S. a person or vehicle is hit by a train.

On Feb. 6, 2020, at its Voting Meeting in Bakersfield, the CPUC’s Director of Rail Safety Division, Roger Clugston, will give a presentation about the CPUC’s innovative grade crossing pavement marking proposal under contemplation for Escalon, Calif. that illustrates a low-cost option for improving grade crossing safety.

Improving safety at railroad/rail transit crossings has challenges, such as integrating rail crossing design and technological advancements with street design; budget constraints; and cooperation among various stakeholders. It is critical that local, state, and federal agencies continue to invest in public safety enhancements and develop policies to improve rail crossing safety, efficiency, and reliability.

Kern County residents could benefit greatly from rail safety enhancements and innovation for rail crossing warning designs. Here is a quick digest of Kern County Highway-Rail Crossings Incidents:

  • Kern County experienced 30 incidents between 2014 and 2018, which represents about 4 percent of the total incidents (802) in California.
  • For the five-year period between 2014 and 2018, the Federal Railroad Administration’s California Incidents analysis shows that Kern County ranked number 11 out of 40 counties for the most highway-rail crossings incidents in the state.
  • From January to October 2019, Kern County had four incidents, which represents about 3 percent of the total incidents (146) in the State.

For information on the CPUC’s Feb. 6th Voting Meeting in Bakersfield, please visit https://www.cpuc.ca.gov/calEvent.aspx?id=6442463206.

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