WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congressmen Brian Mast (FL-18) and Bill Posey (FL-08) today introduced the Pedestrian Safety Study Act to help protect the safety of pedestrians, motorists and residents along the high-speed rail corridor being built on Florida’s East Coast. Residents and local businesses have expressed safety concerns about the rail project given the high number of fatalities already associated with the train since its South Florida operations began in 2018.
“The deaths our communities have already witnessed along this corridor clearly indicate there are safety issues, and Brightline has a long history of straight-up lying to the people of Florida, so at this point I don’t believe they’ve earned the trust to decide for themselves whether their trains are safe,” Rep. Mast said. “This study is much needed to expose these issues before more lives are lost.”
Over the past three years, 74 deaths have been recorded along the rail corridor with more than 40 deaths involving the new high-speed train. Last year the Associated Press analyzed data from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and concluded that the project had “the worst per-mile death rate of the nation’s 821 railroads.”
“These trains will travel at fast speeds through existing town centers and residential areas with little separating the tracks from the surrounding communities,” Rep. Posey said. “The introduction of high- speed rail will undoubtably present safety challenges for many, including our schools, and that needs to be properly addressed. I thank my colleague Rep. Brian Mast for his strong leadership and for partnering with me to ensure the safety of our Florida constituents.”
The Pedestrian Safety Study Act directs the FRA and the Federal Highway Administration to conduct a study on motorist and pedestrian safety along the Virgin/Brightline high-speed train corridor with an emphasis on schools in the vicinity of the tracks. The agencies are directed to report back to Congress and share their safety recommendations with Florida’s Department of Transportation.