Correspondence

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FRA Safety-Related Findings and Recommendations

We issued recommendations to FRA based on our December 10, 2004 report to the Secretary concerning allegations of relaxed enforcement of railroad safety regulations. We recommended that FRA submit to the Secretary a comprehensive plan for implementing a fully functioning program that makes meaningful use of analysis of available safety, inspection and enforcement data. We recommended the plan: (1) focus field inspection activities; (2) assess when a partnership approach is no longer effective and more traditional enforcement (i.e., fines) is warranted; and (3) determine appropriate numbers and amounts of fines, by factoring in prior safety/enforcement history and trends.