Assemblyman Rudy Bermudez’s legislation to improve railroad safety moved closer Tuesday to becoming law. The Senate Transportation and Housing Committee voted 10-0 Tuesday to approve AB 1935 that would increase the frequency of railroad inspections. The bill now goes to the Senate Appropriations Committee. On Monday, the Senate Appropriations Committee voted 7-0 to approve AB 158 that would establish a task force to investigate and solve rail safety issues. That bill now goes to the full Senate. “These will help us take another look with different sets of eyes and ears in terms of what the causes of derailment are,” said Wayne Horiuchi, special representative for Union Pacific Railroad. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhy these photogenic dumplings are popping up in Los Angeles“They’ll be looking at the mechanical, track structure and human error issues,” Horiuchi said, referring to additional inspectors and the task force. AB 1935 provides for another six inspectors – at a cost of $662,700, which will be paid for by the railroad industry. Horiuchi said the industry doesn’t mind the cost and already is paying fees. “We’re as concerned about rail safety as anyone else,” he said. “It’s an awful scene when you have a derailment. It’s hard on the community. It’s also hard on the employees and it’s a disruption to service.” AB 1935 also would require the state Public Utilities Commission to meet stricter reporting requirements, including the collection of near-miss data and compiling a list of root causes of all train accidents in its annual report to the Legislature. “New reporting requirements will hold everyone accountable and ensure that the PUC is taking every precaution to prevent railroad accidents,” said Bermudez, D-Norwalk. AB 158 would set up a task force on rail safety and requires its recommendations to be included in the 2008 PUC report. The task force would identify, study and make recommendations on rail-safety issues including railway vandalism, possible threats of terrorism along railroad lines, land use planning issues and deficiencies in railroad emergency response. [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3022160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!