In 2009 only 3 passengers were killed in train accidents. The Federal Railroad Authority overreacted and introduced a regulation that unnecessarily increased consumer prices. Most train fatalities occur outside the railroad for example among trespassers which is illegal anyway. A Federal study had earlier concluded that the cost of control outweighs the benefits more than 15 times (Asenfelter & Greenstone 15).
In my opinion Congress had the options of letting the Federal Railroad Authority run independently. It is important to note that the authority initially dismissed the ideas of regulation citing expense and only reacted after the Metro link incident (Haine 199). I think the Congressional decision was a knee jerk and emotional reaction to an “old club of boys” not subjective to their authority. The Congress was combative, exhibited personal bias in decision making and ignored several options (White 245). The solutions to the problem need not have gone beyond the railroad staff. Means of effectively controlling and monitoring staff during working hours to prevent issues like the use of cell phones should have been effective enough. My options would include imposing tighter controls of staff at work, banning the carrying and use of cell phones during working hours, placing cameras and making surprise inspections. I would have required definite statistics on the actual costs of railroad accidents and their route cause and examine each factor in isolation.
My response would be specific to avoid punishing the entire railroad system. Railroading has a long history of mishaps that had been ignored for over 18 years (Carrol, Archie & Buchholltz 52). Piece meal and immediate measures to punish and prevent reoccurrence would have prevented the passing of a costly law (Guerin & DelPo 339). The Railroad Safety Improvement Act is a mixture of specifics and generalities. The problem lies with the latter. I agree with