Like all elections, this is the most important election of your lifetime.

Affordable Healthcare and Education; good paying jobs with benefits; workplace harassment – these seem to be making the headlines — and everything in your day-to-day life is getting more expensive.

In the House of Representatives, on Jan. 4, 2017, H.R.233, the Safe Freight Act of 2017 was introduced by Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska.)

This bill prohibits the operation of a freight train — or light locomotive engine used in the movement of freight trains — unless it has a crew of at least two individuals, one of whom is certified by the Federal Railroad Administration as a locomotive operator and the other as a train conductor.

Rep. Adrian Smith has not signed on. He has been approached by myself and others, personally and in writing.

Another bill, S.2360, Safe Freight Act 2017, was introduced by Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) This bill is to provide for the minimum size of crews of freight trains, and for other purposes.

Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb), has introduced S.1451, the Railroad Advancement of Innovation and Leadership with Safety (RAILS Act). A bill aimed at rolling back rail safety requirements, including electronically controlled pneumatic (ECP) brakes.

In essence, the bill seeks to shift the rail industry toward self-regulation, also known as “performance-based regulation,” and make it more difficult to enforce.

Now we have been advised that the Federal Railway Administration has had a 30-day comment period on autonomous (self-driving/zero-person crew) trains.

The railroads are serious.

Think long and hard before you vote. Research your candidate and the issues. The candidate you may be voting for may not be the person that supports your best interest and your livelihood.

 

Terry Sigler, North Platte