(Washington, DC) - In the wake of the recent rail tragedy involving Amtrak Northeast Regional Train 188, Representative Charlie Dent (PA-15) took action to make sure that investigators would have a powerful tool at their disposal to help them determine cause of future accidents.
Last evening, as the House of Representatives debated H.R. 2577, the Fiscal Year 2016 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, Representative Dent introduced an amendment to increase Amtrak funding to cover the cost of installing inward-facing cameras in the engine cabs of all Amtrak trains.
“In the wake of the tragic accident in Philadelphia, I felt it was important to increase funding for Amtrak to make needed safety investments, particularly the installation of inward-facing cameras,” said Dent. “The type of information received from these cameras will be an important tool for accident investigators. They could provide vital information regarding whether or not human error was the cause of a derailment and inform what preventative measures will need to be taken in the future. I am grateful for the support of my colleagues for my amendment and I will continue to work to make certain that Amtrak has the support it needs to ensure all of its passengers are safe,” Dent concluded.
Dent’s action enjoyed strong support from Rep. Leonard Lance (NJ-7), who voiced his approval of inward-facing cameras during the debate.
“The tragic Amtrak accident took the lives of 8 individuals and injured over 200 – including injuring two of my constituents with whom I had been meeting earlier in the day in Washington,” Representative Lance said. “Inward-facing cameras are an appropriate step in modernizing train safety transportation. The National Transportation Safety Board has been advocating for this simple and relatively inexpensive reform for years and I thank Congressman Dent for taking the lead on this reform in Congress. We should equip Amtrak trains with this important piece of safety equipment,” Lance concluded.
Representative Dent’s amendment provides for a $9 million increase in Amtrak’s capital grants funding to allow the installation of the inward-facing camera equipment.
These cameras were a topic of discussion during this week’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing on the Amtrak accident, and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has been advocating for this reform for years.
CONTACT: Shawn Millan (610) 770-3490