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Cellphone rule targets rail crews

Railroad crewmembers would be prohibited from talking on their cellphones or using other handheld electronic devices under regulations proposed by U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on Monday.

The rule would ban the use of such devices by engineers, conductors, switchmen and other crew members if it interferes with the ability to carry out safety-related duties.

The proposed rule is the latest in a series of actions LaHood has taken to combat distracted driving. In 2008, 25 people were killed in California when a Metrolink commuter train collided with a Union Pacific Railroad freight train in Chatsworth. Investigators determined that the commuter train's engineer was text messaging at the time of the collision.

-- Ashley Halsey III

By Washington Post Editors  |  May 17, 2010; 5:29 PM ET
Categories:  Safety , transit  | Tags: Commuter rail, Rail transport, Ray LaHood, crews barred from using electronic devices, rail safety  
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