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Jun 10, 2015

Amtrak engineer in May 12 derailment was not on phone: NTSB

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Amtrak engineer Brandon Bostian was not talking or texting on his cellphone when his speeding passenger train derailed in Philadelphia on May 12, killing eight people and injuring more than 200 others, federal crash investigators said on Wednesday.

Officials, however, are still trying to determine whether Bostian could have been using the device in some other way that would not have required a wireless connection, such as playing games or reading, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

Jun 10, 2015

Amtrak to test rail safety system in U.S. Northeast but problems persist

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Amtrak said on Wednesday that it has won government approval to test a new rail safety system between New York and Washington that federal inspectors say would have prevented the deadly May 12 derailment in Philadelphia.

But the Federal Communications Commission warned that the system, which relies on radio transmissions between trains and track sensors, could face “harmful interference” from rival freight railroad systems along another busy track between Boston and New Haven, Connecticut.

Jun 10, 2015

U.S. investigators determine Amtrak engineer cellphone use -sources

WASHINGTON, June 9 (Reuters) – After weeks of sorting
through complex and contradictory phone service data, U.S.
investigators have determined whether an Amtrak engineer was
using his cellphone last month when his train derailed along a
curve in Philadelphia, two sources said on Tuesday.

But they would not reveal the findings pending a release of
information by the National Transportation Safety Board on
Wednesday. The derailment on May 12 killed eight people and
injured more than 200.

Jun 8, 2015

U.S. cars, trucks need collision prevention systems: officials

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. safety officials on Monday called on automakers to begin installing collision avoidance systems in all new passenger and commercial vehicles, saying existing technology could save lives and avoid injuries by reducing rear-end collisions.

The National Transportation Safety Board said in a 63-page report that rear-end crashes kill about 1,700 people and injure half a million annually. It said more than 80 percent of the human toll could be mitigated if vehicles were equipped with collision avoidance systems.

Jun 5, 2015

U.S. auto safety agency sets reforms after GM recall

WASHINGTON, June 5 (Reuters) – U.S. safety regulators
acknowledged shortfalls in their probe of a General Motors Co
ignition switch defect linked to over 100 deaths, and
unveiled plans on Friday for more aggressive enforcement of auto
defects.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said its
staff missed early signs of an ignition problem because they
misunderstood the technology and failed to demand a clear
account of events from the automaker.

Jun 4, 2015

White House backs 2015 deadline for railroad safety equipment

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House on Thursday endorsed a requirement that U.S. railroads install new safety equipment by the end of 2015, despite bipartisan efforts in Congress to give passenger and freight rail companies extra time to comply.

Administration support for the deadline could lead to a showdown with lawmakers in Congress over the safety equipment known as positive train control, or PTC, which federal officials say would have prevented the deadly May 12 Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia that killed eight people and injured more than 200.

Jun 3, 2015

FAA to name adviser to handle ‘crush’ of industry drone queries

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Federal Aviation Administration said on Wednesday that it would place a higher priority on integrating drones into the national air space by appointing a senior adviser to coordinate relations with industry and other outside stakeholders.

FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said the new position would deal with what has become “an absolute crush” of outside interest from the private sector and allow safety regulators within the agency’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) integration office to concentrate on crafting new regulations for commercial drone use.

Jun 2, 2015

Takata will ‘rapidly’ cut production of volatile air bag chemical

WASHINGTON/DETROIT (Reuters) – Takata Corp will “rapidly” reduce production of a volatile chemical that has been linked to ruptured air bag inflators, a company executive told U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday.

The chemical, ammonium nitrate, “appears to be one of the factors” contributing to inflator ruptures linked to six deaths and hundreds of injuries, Kevin Kennedy, executive vice president of Takata subsidiary TK Holdings, said.

Jun 2, 2015

Owners may need to have Takata air bags repaired more than once

WASHINGTON/DETROIT (Reuters) – The top U.S. auto safety regulator said that replacement parts for potentially defective Takata Corp air bag inflators may not offer consumers a remedy that lasts the life of the car.

Many cars equipped with older Takata air bag systems could have to be fixed more than once, said Mark Rosekind, head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Jun 2, 2015

U.S. regulator says will enforce December 31 deadline for new train safety controls

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Railroad companies that fail to meet a Dec. 31 deadline for installing new safety equipment could face U.S. government penalties, federal regulators told Congress on Tuesday, in the wake of last month’s deadly Amtrak passenger train crash in Philadelphia.

The pledge of action, which could include daily civil penalties, showed Washington was exerting renewed pressure on train operators to adopt safety technology that could have prevented the May 12 derailment.

    • About David

      "David Morgan has covered news from Wall Street and Fleet Street to the White House, the Pentagon and Congress, including politics, macroeconomics, military affairs, corporate finance, U.S. intelligence, national security and the international markets. He has also reported from Atlanta on the rise of American conservatism, civil rights, homegrown terrorism and the Olympics, and helped chronicle the Sept. 11 attacks and their aftermath from Philadelphia, New York and Washington."
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