Message from Brent Leonard  General Chairman GO-953 SMART-Transportation Division

This office has been advised by the Kansas State Legislative Board that the FRA will be elevating its scrutiny and testing for use of electronic devices.

This increased scrutiny should not be ignored or minimized by our members.  Review of multiple video feeds from inward-facing cameras on locomotives has made the FRA believe that the use of electronic devices is occurring at an alarmingly high frequency.  Our members should expect an extremely high occurrence of testing by both FRA and the Carrier.  The testing will occur both by video review and radio frequency detection.  IF AN EMPLOYEE IS FOUND TO BE UTILIZING AN ELECTRONIC DEVICE, FRA WILL BE DE-CERTIFYING THE EMPLOYEE AND SEEKING CIVIL PENALTIES.

I cannot overstress the seriousness of this issue.  As expressed to me, this issue (electronic device use) is viewed as being one of the highest safety priorities of the FRA.