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FRA 21 articles

“See Tracks? Think Train!” campaign focuses on teaching Americans awareness of railway safety

A debut national public safety campaign has set its aim for decreasing the number of highway-railroad crossing fatalities across the United States. “See Tracks? Think Train!” will be coming to various cities and towns across the nation to highlight the risks taken by drivers and pedestrians near dangerous railroad tracks. According to the Federal Railroad Administration, Alabama is ranked one of the top 15 states for overall railway casualties. In January, Tuscaloosa had three deaths due to car/train collisions. Also, a Montgomery man was killed this month in his car on a highway-railroad crossing when a train came by. In ... Read More

Train accident during the filming of Midnight Rider kills one woman, injures seven others

A tragedy occurred on a movie set in Georgia this week, according to The Hollywood Reporter. During the filming of the upcoming Gregg Allman biopic Midnight Rider, a train, confirmed to be operated by CSX, rolled through while shooting, killing one woman and injuring seven others. None of the victims have been identified at this time. One of the injured crew members was taken via Lifestar to Memorial University Medical Center while the other victims were transported to various area hospitals. The news outlet also reported that the scene of the accident was right above the Altamaha River near the ... Read More

Bill seeks to ban importation of substandard building materials

Congressman Bart Stupak (D-Mich) has introduced a bill that seeks to block the import of substandard building materials into the United States. The bill, H.R. 2155, would give U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) the authority to prohibit sub-standard steel, cement, and drywall from entering the country. Stupak’s bill comes after an influx of low-grade, allegedly toxic drywall manufactured by Chinese company Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin Co. Ltd found its way into thousands of homes in Florida and several other states. Although the problem is likely to be widespread, with cases of caustic drywall being reported as far away as British Columbia, ... Read More

CPSC issues recall of several potentially hazardous bicycle models

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced a recall of three bicycle brands containing potentially faulty components. The recall includes approximately 3,600 Norco bicycles manufactured by Norco Performance Bikes of British Columbia, Canada; about 16,000 Trek bicycle models made by Trek Bicycle Corp. of Waterloo, Wisconsin; and approximately 1,500 Cannondale bicycles made by Cannondale Bicycle Corp. of Bethel, Connecticut. The Norco bikes have frames that can break and separate, seriously compromising the safety of riders in motion. The manufacturer received one report of a rider who was thrown from the bike, sustaining a fractured collar bone in the fall. ... Read More

Investigators focus on pilot competency in Buffalo plane crash

Serious questions have arisen about the competency and training of the pilot who was in charge of flying the Colgan Air commuter plane when it crashed last February in Buffalo, New York. The crash claimed the lives of all 49 people aboard and one person on the ground. Investigators will announce their findings tomorrow in the case. Transcripts of the cockpit conversation revealed that Captain Marvin Renslow and first officer Rebecca Shaw were likely not adequately trained and experienced to handle the particular flying conditions they faced. Moreover, the crew may have violated the cockpit rule of refraining from “irrelevant ... Read More

Poll finds American voters oppose forced arbitration in contracts

“Americans are sick and tired of a system that so strongly favors big corporations over consumers and … robs them of their constitutional right to their day in court,” Senator Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) said in a statement concerning the proposed Arbitration Fairness Act. The act seeks to preserve our constitutionally guaranteed right to a jury trial should we ever need to settle a grievance in court with a company or an employer. These days, according to the American Association for Justice, “just by taking a job or buying a product or service, consumers and employees are forced to give up ... Read More

Preemption language must be removed from railroad regulations

The American Association for Justice is calling for a review of Bush administration regulations that it believes compromise the safety and rights of consumers who are injured in railroad accidents. The request was prompted by the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee’s nomination hearing of Joseph Szabo as the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) new administrator. Though Szabo’s nomination is not controversial, many lawmakers in the Democrat-controlled Congress believe the regulations and policies put forth by the previous administration favor big business at an enormous expense to the consumer. Preemption is the problem. Preemption is the legal premise that federal law ... Read More

Traumatic brain injury: Jason’s story part five

Last month we shared the story of Jason Stanley, an Auburn University student who sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI)when three other men ambushed and maliciously attacked him in an alleyway. Jason lost consciousness after falling and hitting his head on the concrete pavement, yet one of the assailants continued to kick him in the face, according to a witness. The attack left Jason with a spectrum of physical and psychological problems – a fractured skull, severed nerves, loss of hearing, dizziness, anxiety, confusion, anger, depression – all symptoms of a TBI that took doctors days to discover. Many people ... Read More

FDA eyes pistachios as it receives reports of salmonella poisoning

This week, Food and Drug Administration officials issued an alert warning consumers to avoid eating pistachios and food containing pistachios while it investigates the source of another possible salmonella outbreak. The FDA announced that Setton International Foods, Inc., a division of Terra Bella Inc., would voluntarily recall approximately 2 million pounds of roasted pistachios that have been shipping since last fall. The investigation and recall come after two people contacted the FDA complaining of symptoms of salmonella poisoning after eating the nuts. Although the link has not yet been confirmed, the plant where the pistachios were processed temporarily shut down ... Read More

Traumatic brain injury: Jason’s story part one

Carol Stanley’s life took an unexpected turn one day in January of 2007 when her son Jason, a student at Auburn University, was physically assaulted by three other men. The attack left Jason with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) that might have eluded medical staff if it weren’t for his worsening symptoms and his mother’s persistence in finding the right care for her son. The life-altering incident set Jason on a path to recovery and led Carol on an often frustrating crusade for better laws – laws that are more favorable to victims and less protective of those who commit ... Read More