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Train safety may be part of Utah driver test

Published February 14, 2013 9:43 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Utahns taking the written test for their first driver license may soon need to know more than highway rules — they may also face questions about safety around trains.

SJR8 to urge state officials to include such questions was endorsed unanimously Thursday by the Senate Transportation, Public Utilities and Technology Committee, and was sent to the full Senate.

Sen. Karen Mayne, D-West Valley City, a former member of the board of the Utah Transit Authority, said too many accidents have been occurring in recent years around TRAX, the FrontRunner commuter rail and other trains — so it is worth requiring new drivers to study rules for train crossings, and rules of behavior around train stations.

In 2011 and 2012, the UTA reported a total of 45 major incidents with TRAX and FrontRunner, including 13 fatalities and 26 injuries. Nineteen of those accidents were trains hitting cars.

— Lee Davidson