Transportation Department policies need updated, AAR says

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) recently filed comments with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) on rules and agency actions it believes should be repealed, replaced, suspended or modified.

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“As evidenced by our filing with the Department of Transportation, the AAR’s previous letter to Deputy Secretary Jeffrey A. Rosen and the continued actions of the AAR and its members, the freight rail industry is a critical partner to the government in improving federal regulation,” AAR President and CEO Edward R. Hamberger said. “We have been clear and consistent in calling for common sense regulatory principles, including that rules should be based on a demonstrated need, as reflected in current and complete data and sound science; and non-prescriptive regulatory tools, like performance-based regulations, should be deployed wherever possible to foster and facilitate innovation to achieve well-defined policy goals.”

Some of the rules and policies the AAR cited include the Power Brake Act of 1958 needs to be updated because air brake technology has advanced. The current regulations are costing the industry unnecessary expense, AAR said.

The Federal Aviation Administration’s rules on drones limit the technology’s use for railroads. The AAR requests the restrictions on night use of drones be repealed.

Additionally, hours-of-service regulations impede emergency response efforts.