(a) The purpose of this part is to prevent collisions, derailments, and other occurrences involving railroad passenger equipment that cause injury or death to railroad employees, railroad passengers, or the general public; and to mitigate the consequences of such occurrences to the extent they cannot be prevented.
(b) This part prescribes minimum Federal safety standards for railroad passenger equipment. This part does not restrict a railroad from adopting and enforcing additional or more stringent requirements not inconsistent with this part.
(c) Railroads to which this part applies shall be responsible for compliance with all of the requirements contained in §§ 238.15, 238.17, 238.19, 238.107, 238.109, and subpart D of this part effective January 1, 2002.
(1) A railroad may request earlier application of the requirements contained in §§ 238.15, 238.17, 238.19, 238.107, 238.109, and subpart D upon written notification to FRA's Associate Administrator for Safety. Such a request shall indicate the railroad's readiness and ability to comply with all of the provisions referenced in paragraph (c) introductory text of this section.
(2) Except for paragraphs (b) and (c) of § 238.309, a railroad may specifically request earlier application of the maintenance and testing provisions contained in §§ 238.309 and 238.311 simultaneously. In order to request earlier application of these two sections, the railroad shall indicate its readiness and ability to comply with all of the provisions contained in both of those sections.
(3) Paragraphs (b) and (c) of § 238.309 apply beginning September 9, 1999.