FRA Reports Highest Civil Penalty Collection Rate in its History

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) today said its enforcement of federal rail safety rules has led to the highest-ever civil penalty collection rate in the agency’s 50-year history, surpassing last year’s record-breaking rate.

For Fiscal Year (FY) 2016, the agency expects it will collect 79 percent of the civil penalties it issued to railroads, hazardous materials shippers and others for violating federal safety regulations, a 4-percent increase over FY2015, and the largest percentage rate ever closed by the agency, the agency said in a news release. The total amount of civil penalties in FY2016 hit $15.75 million, more than a half-million more than the previous year.

“The Department of Transportation will continue to take aggressive action against railroads for not following safety rules,” U.S Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a news release. “This strong enforcement program helps prevent needless accidents and deaths.”

FRA’s closure rate is the highest in the agency’s history and significantly higher than previous years.