Transportation en Rail Safety: Emergency Workers Still in the Dark <p>In just over a year, North America has seen a dozen serious accidents involving trains that derailed while carrying flammable crude oil.&nbsp; One of those accidents, in Lynchburg, caused a massive fire and oil spill.&nbsp; In most cases, fire departments didn’t know what they were dealing with, since railroads have kept that information secret, but the federal government is now requiring them to inform states when trains of 35 cars or more, carrying&nbsp; oil from North Dakota or Montana, are coming through.&nbsp;</p> Tue, 01 Jul 2014 14:02:56 +0000 Sandy Hausman 23658 at Rail Safety: Emergency Workers Still in the Dark Rail Safety: Tracks & Inspections <p></p><p>Within hours of a rail crash in Lynchburg on April 30, inspectors for the state and federal governments and CSX were on the scene – trying to figure out why 17 cars derailed and one ruptured – producing flames, smoke and a significant oil spill.&nbsp;</p><p>Getting official answers could take 18 months, but there are clues that suggest a cause for the accident and a future course of action to improve rail safety.&nbsp;</p><p></p> Mon, 30 Jun 2014 16:41:34 +0000 Sandy Hausman 23607 at Rail Safety: Tracks & Inspections Coalfields Expressway Plan Under Scrutiny <p></p><p>A plan for a controversial highway, known as the Coalfields Expressway, will undergo a full environmental impact study by the Virginia Department of Transportation.</p><p>V-DOT has described the plan the road as an economic lifeline for a region with a depressed economy. But citizen groups see it as benefiting only coal mining companies and not local communities.</p><p><br />&nbsp;</p><p></p> Fri, 27 Jun 2014 19:30:28 +0000 Robbie Harris 23511 at Coalfields Expressway Plan Under Scrutiny Cycling Safety Legislation <p>As more commuters turn to bicycles as an alternative method of transportation, lawmakers say everyone must rethink how we take to the roads.</p><p>That approach is now reflected in a new law that takes effect on July 1st.&nbsp; The law will require motorists to allow three feet of clearance when passing bicyclists.</p><p><br />&nbsp;</p><p></p> Thu, 26 Jun 2014 20:28:52 +0000 Tommie McNeil 23471 at Cycling Safety Legislation Rail Safety: Slower Trains & Stonger Cars <p>For decades Americans have worried about our dependence on foreign oil and gas.&nbsp; By 2005 we were importing 60% of our energy, but in 2008 a new technology called horizontal hydrologic fracturing or “fracking” raised the promise of energy independence.&nbsp;</p><p>U.S. crude production is up 50% and&nbsp; imports have fallen 35%.&nbsp; But getting oil from a massive shale deposit in North Dakota to refineries is raising serious concerns about public safety.</p><p></p> Thu, 26 Jun 2014 19:09:54 +0000 Sandy Hausman 23466 at Rail Safety: Slower Trains & Stonger Cars