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30 1989-1993, All Types Combined 1992-1996, All Types Combined 1992-1996, Gates Only 1992-1996, All Other Active 1992-1996, Passive Only -20% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Percent change in accident rate with horn ban Source: FRA, Updated Analysis of Train Whistle Bans, January 2000. Figure 4-2. Comparison of crossing accident rates with and without horn bans. some exceptions to this requirement. These exceptions are as to reduce noise levels around rail lines. Even when the magni- follows: tude of the safety impacts was documented in an FRA study in 1992, none of the localities with horn bans repealed them. The locomotive speed is 15 miles per hour or less and the The research team cannot document a cost to rail carriers train crew or appropriately equipped flaggers provide from increased grade-crossing accidents, but it is clear that warning to motorists; or deaths and injuries expose carriers to potential liability. The If the highway-rail grade crossing corridor is equipped quiet-zone provision for shifting liability to local governments with supplementary safety measures at each public high- has some mitigating effect in this regard. Further, the rail in- way-rail grade crossing; or dustry does not want to be perceived as a threat to safety. If the locomotive is within a quiet zone and the highway- One can also consider the horn bans within a larger con- rail grade crossing corridor has a Quiet Zone Risk Index at text of public policymaking. In many cases localities allowed or below the Nationwide Significant Risk Threshold or the developers to build residential housing units near rail lines. Risk Index with Horns. In other cases, railroads sold land that was near their right-of- way without giving adequate consideration to the long-term Communities that wish to apply for a quiet zone could be re- effects of the development that would occur. When viewed in quired to provide supplemental safety measures to reduce the this larger context, the long-term impacts of these public pol- risk of grade crossings in the proposed quiet zone. These could icy decisions were unexpected. include four-quadrant gates, permanent or night-time closing of some crossings, conversion of two-way streets to one-way to avoid the need for the expensive four-quadrant gates, and TWIC for Ports and Inland Towboats crossing gates with medians or traffic separators. Some com- Policy Description munities have incurred costs between $200,000 to $1,000,000 per grade crossing to improve safety measures.19 Implement- As part of the response to the events of 9/11, the Mari- ing a quiet zone also transfers liability for any collisions that do time Transportation Security Act of 2002 required the occur from the railroad to the local government. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to issue regula- tions to prevent individuals from entering secure areas of vessels or certain port and offshore facilities without a bio- Unexpected Impacts metric security credential from the Federal government. The The research team believes that most localities enacting horn law required that individuals pass a background check by bans understood that they were incurring safety risks in order DHS before they received a credential. The law also speci- fied that vessel and facility owners prevent individuals with- out a biometric security credential from accessing secure 19 John Heckman, "Train `Quiet Zones' Can Be More Dangerous and Costly," areas unless accompanied by another individual having a Newton Kansan, November 13, 2008. credential.

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31 In January 2007, the Transportation Security Adminis- applicants and that it had granted more than 85 percent of the tration (TSA) and the U.S. Coast Guard published com- appeals requested.20 panion final rules for the TWIC program. The rules apply In general, port officials who were interviewed did not ex- to all credentialed merchant mariners and to workers who pect the TWIC rules to impede the flow of goods through require unescorted access to secure areas of ports and ves- ports. In fact, one port official suggested that, if implemented sels (e.g., longshoremen and truck drivers). To obtain properly, the rule could improve the flow of goods. This lack a TWIC card, these personnel must undergo a security of concern may be due to the Federal government's decision threat assessment by TSA and pay a user fee. The TWIC re- to drop the requirement for facilities and vessels to install quirement was phased in across the country between 2008 TWIC cardreaders from the final rule. and 2009. As of September 2009, TSA had enrolled more Several freight officials, as well as commenters to the TSA than 1.3 million people and had printed about 1.2 million and Coast Guard dockets, said that the proposed rules credentials. seemed geared to large, coastal ports and showed little ap- preciation for the operational realities of the inland towing industry. They asserted that the compliance costs for inland Policy Impacts freight carriers would far outweigh the minimal safety ben- Many of the nearly 2,000 written comments on the pro- efits that would be achieved by applying the rule to them. In posed TWIC rules said that the compliance costs would be response to these concerns, Congress amended its require- too high and would greatly exceed any security benefits, at ments for the TWIC rule through the Security and Account- least for particular portions of the maritime industry. The ability For Every Port (SAFE Port) Act of 2006. In that law, impacts most often cited by commenters related to Congress required TSA to allow new workers to start work- ing immediately if they pass an interim check against vari- The fees associated with obtaining a TWIC card, ous terrorist databases. Freight officials who were inter- Other costs for employees to obtain a TWIC card (e.g., viewed during the rollout of the TWIC program reported making two trips to an enrollment center), mixed results. Some complained about long delays in ob- The effect of delays in processing TWIC applications on taining TWIC cards for employees, while others reported no workforce and hiring, major issues. The cost of providing escorts to those not possessing a TWIC card, and Unexpected Impacts The cost of installing TWIC cardreaders at facilities or on vessels (a requirement that was dropped from the final rule). It would have been difficult for Congress to anticipate the full impact of the TWIC requirements when it passed the The regulatory impact analysis for the final TWIC rule Maritime Transportation Security Act in 2002, because it left provided a wide range for the agency's estimate of the total the exact requirements of the rule to DHS to determine. By discounted, 10-year cost of compliance: $700 million to $3.2 the time the final rules were issued, however, TSA and the billion. In part, TSA attributed the variance in its estimate Coast Guard had received nearly 2,000 written comments on to uncertainty about the opportunity costs associated with the proposed rules and had also held four public meetings the enrollment process and the waiting time to receive a around the country, which together drew roughly 1,200 peo- TWIC. Another reason for the variance was uncertainty ple. Among those commenting were representatives of ports about the cost of complying with the requirement to escort and inland waterway carriers, and they largely raised the same those without TWIC cards when they visit secure areas of a concerns as the research team's interviewees. DHS had to be vessel or facility. aware of the potential impacts of the rules when it issued The port officials the research team interviewed in the them in 2007. midst of the phased rollout of the TWIC program generally Because the research team interviewed freight experts just expected the rule's biggest impacts to fall on the trucking in- as the TWIC Program was being rolled out, it was difficult for dustry. They suggested that a high percentage of truck driv- them to assess the actual impacts of the program. The issuance ers would fail to qualify for a TWIC card, or that many driv- of some TWIC cards has been delayed by computer problems ers would not receive a TWIC card before the rule went into and other technical issues, but the rule's regulatory impact effect. However, one port official said that most truck drivers analysis included a range of costs to account for such delays. who had been initially disqualified from receiving a TWIC card had been able to get one by going through the appeals process. TSA data shows that, through August 2009, the 20 TSA, "TWIC Dashboard: August 26, 2009," http://www.tsa.gov/assets/pdf/ agency had initially disqualified less than 5 percent of TWIC twic_dashboard.pdf