Washington State House Democrats


Governor signs Stanford bill boosting railroad safety

OLYMPIA—A new law written by Rep. Derek Stanford (D-Bothell) addresses several dangerous problems faced by railroad workers.

“Safety for railroad crews is not just about trains and worksites,” Stanford said.  “We heard testimony that the deadliest part of their day can be when crews are being transported long distances in vans and SUVs – again and again, the transport drivers are falling asleep at the wheel.”

Stanford said these drivers are typically not trained in railroad safety, and some have been required to drive despite clear signs of fatigue or unsafe medical conditions. Transport companies often don’t have the right kind of insurance to cover some kinds of accidents, potentially leaving railroad workers and their families with nothing after on-the-job injuries or fatalities.

House Bill 1105 fixes these problems by creating and strengthening safety measures designed to protect railroad crews, including new insurance requirements.

“We’ve seen too many tragic accidents and deaths,” Stanford said. “The men and women who work at railroads are professionals with families, and they deserve respect and safety on the job. After several years of work on this bill, I am proud that Washington is now leading the way on railroad safety.”