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INDEPENDENCE, Ohio, December 10 — On December 2, 2021, a railroad safety bill requiring qualified two-person train crews was introduced in the state of Michigan’s House of Representatives and Senate.

House Bill 5596 and Senate Bill 767 read in part: “…a railroad shall not operate a train or locomotive engine engaged in transporting freight unless the train or locomotive engine is operated by a crew of not fewer than 2 individuals.”

BLET Michigan State Legislative Board Chairman B.J. Trumble said he has been working with Don Roach, his counterpart at SMART Transportation Division, to lobby in favor of H.B. 5596 and S.B. 767.

“Two members in a locomotive is common sense legislation for the state of Michigan,” Brother Trumble said. “This legislation will make our state safer for train crews and the general public. BLET and SMART-TD have been attacking this issue from all angles with the legislators in Lansing and we are now waiting for hearing dates in the subcommittees.”

Brother Trumble said H.B. 5596 was introduced on December 2 by Rep. Tim Sneller (D-Dist. 50). The bill was co-sponsored by House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Rep. Jack O’Malley (R-Dist. 101) along with: Rep. John Cherry (D-Dist. 49); Rep. Jim Ellison (D-Dist. 26); Rep. Darrin Camilleri (D-Dist. 23); Rep. Ranjeev Puri (D-Dist. 21); Rep. Tullio Liberati (D-Dist. 13); Rep. Terry Sabo (D-Dist. 92); Rep. Yousef Rabhi (D-Dist. 53); Rep. Lori Stone (D-Dist. 28); Rep. Cara Clemente (D-Dist. 14); and Rep. Brenda Carter (D-Dist. 29). The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Transportation.

In the Senate, S.B. 767 was introduced on December 2 by primary sponsor Sen. Erika Geiss (D.-Dist. 6). It has been referred to the Senate Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

The state of Washington is the most recent state to enact a two-person crew bill, which was signed into law by Governor Jay Inslee on March 27, 2020. In 2019, state governors in Illinois, Nevada and Colorado signed two-person crew bills to help make train operations in their states as safe as possible.

Please visit the following to read the text of the Michigan bills:

H.B. 5596: http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2021-HB-5596

S.B. 767: http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2021-SB-0767