Federal Railroad Administration wants to require new reflective
material be placed on the side of railcars to help prevent collisions
with big rigs and other vehicles.
research indicates that safety may be improved by placing reflective
material on the train itself, since it can aid drivers in better
judging a train's distance and relative state of motion.
one quarter of all highway-rail crossing collisions involve a
motor vehicle striking a train. We have learned that in
many cases, motorists do not see trains moving or stopped, blocking
highway-rail crossings," said Federal Railroad Administrator
Allan Rutter. "In proposing this action, we have taken into
account numerous considerations raised by the railroad industry
and others, and believe real safety benefits can be achieved while
minimizing the cost to railroads and the nation's private car
the 1980s and 1990s, the brightness, durability, and adhesive
properties of reflective material significantly improved. In
1999, the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center published
a report on freight car reflectorization. Results from this
research indicated that new "micro prismatic retro-reflective
materials" provided adequate luminance intensity levels that
could last for up to 10 years, the FRA said.