New information from the Federal Railroad Administration says 16 Oklahomans were killed in train-related accidents in 2019.
That's prompted Oklahoma State Rep. David Perryman (D-Chickasha) to file House Bill 2874, which requires all freight trains in Oklahoma to have two people running them to prevent deadly accidents.
If this bill is passed into law, violators could be fined up to $10,000.
Perryman said that, currently, Oklahoma does not have any requirements on the number of people working a train and that sometimes there's no one working it at all - calling it an automated system.
"If you take a commercial flight, the FAA requires there be two people in the cockpit. Why wouldn’t we have the same thing on a train? We've got trains that are miles long, a mile long. a mile-and-a-half long. And to have that train barreling across the countryside,” Perryman said.
Perryman said he hopes a railroad bill like this will prevent accidents but also help crews respond to emergencies faster.
Two-thirds of the House and Senate must approve this bill before it becomes law.
If passed, it would go into effect November 1.