May 24, 2019
The Federal Railroad Administration Reg Withdrawal Holds Lessons for Other Regulators
Yesterday the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) withdrew a three-year-old proposed rule that would have mandated railroad crews of at least two individuals. AAF’s Director of Regulatory Policy Dan Bosch explains how this withdrawal serves as a broader example for future regulatory action from other regulators.
The FRA’s decision to withdraw its Train Crew Staffing Notice of Proposed Rulemaking offers lessons to regulators beyond the railroad industry. Regulators should not impose specific and costly mandates when lacking evidence they will solve a problem. Regulators should also be mindful of the implications today’s regulatory decisions will have on future innovation, particularly when evidence suggests those innovations could improve safety. Finally, federal regulators should recognize that states may impose mandates when federal agencies remain silent – and therefore need to assert authority in instances when state action will impose expensive mandates and stifle innovation.