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49 U.S. Code § 20143 - Locomotive visibility

(a) Definition.—
In this section, “locomotive visibility” means the enhancement of day and night visibility of the front end unit of a train, considering in particular the visibility and perspective of a driver of a motor vehicle at a grade crossing.
(b) Interim Regulations.—
Not later than December 31, 1992, the Secretary of Transportation shall prescribe temporary regulations identifying ditch, crossing, strobe, and oscillating lights as temporary locomotive visibility measures and authorizing and encouraging the installation and use of those lights. Subchapter II of chapter 5 of title 5 does not apply to a temporary regulation or to an amendment to a temporary regulation.
(c) Review of Regulations.—
The Secretary shall review the Secretary’s regulations on locomotive visibility. Not later than December 31, 1993, the Secretary shall complete the current research of the Department of Transportation on locomotive visibility. In conducting the review, the Secretary shall collect relevant information from operational experience by rail carriers using enhanced visibility measures.
(d) Regulatory Proceeding.—Not later than June 30, 1994, the Secretary shall begin a regulatory proceeding to prescribe final regulations requiring substantially enhanced locomotive visibility measures. In the proceeding, the Secretary shall consider at least—
revisions to the existing locomotive headlight standards, including standards for placement and intensity;
requiring the use of reflective material to enhance locomotive visibility;
requiring the use of additional alerting lights, including ditch, crossing, strobe, and oscillating lights;
requiring the use of auxiliary lights to enhance locomotive visibility when viewed from the side;
the effect of an enhanced visibility measure on the vision, health, and safety of train crew members; and
separate standards for self-propelled, push-pull, and multi-unit passenger operations without a dedicated head end locomotive.
(e) Final Regulations.—
Not later than June 30, 1995, the Secretary shall prescribe final regulations requiring enhanced locomotive visibility measures. The Secretary shall require that not later than December 31, 1997, a locomotive not excluded from the regulations be equipped with temporary visibility measures under subsection (b) of this section or the visibility measures the final regulations require.
In prescribing regulations under paragraph (1) of this subsection, the Secretary may exclude a category of trains or rail operations from a specific visibility requirement if the Secretary decides the exclusion is in the public interest and is consistent with rail safety, including grade-crossing safety.
A locomotive equipped with temporary visibility measures prescribed under subsection (b) of this section when final regulations are prescribed under paragraph (1) of this subsection is deemed to be complying with the final regulations for 4 years after the final regulations are prescribed.

Historical and Revision Notes



Source (U.S. Code)

Source (Statutes at Large)



Oct. 16, 1970, Pub. L. 91–458, 84 Stat. 971, § 202(u); added Oct. 27, 1992, Pub. L. 102–533, § 14, 106 Stat. 3522.


45:431(u)(2) (1st, 2d sentences).










45:431(u)(2) (last sentence).

In this section, the word “visibility” is substituted for “conspicuity” for clarity and consistency in this chapter.

In subsection (a), the words “by means of lighting, reflective materials, or other means” are omitted as surplus.

In subsection (b), the words “those lights” are substituted for “such measures” for clarity.

In subsection (c), the word “Secretary’s” is substituted for ”Department of Transportation’s” because of 49:102(b). The word “using” is substituted for “having . . . in service” to eliminate unnecessary words.

In subsection (e)(2) and (3) of this section, the reference is to paragraph (1) of this subsection, rather than to subsection (d) of this section, because the regulations are prescribed under paragraph (1).

In subsection (e)(2), the words “a category” are substituted for “and category” to correct an apparent mistake in the source provision. See S. Rept. 102–990, 102d Cong., 2d Sess., p. 18 (1992).

In subsection (e)(3), the word “full” is omitted as surplus.