Articles by Joan Lowy

U.S. Regulator Treads Lightly on Railroads Over Hazmat Violations: Report

Federal regulators are failing to refer serious safety violations involving freight rail shipments of crude oil and other hazardous cargo for criminal prosecution, and are going lightly on civil fines, according to a report released last week by a government …

Registered Drones Now Outnumber Planes

The Federal Aviation Administration says there are now more registered drone operators in the U.S. than there are registered manned aircraft. FAA Administrator Michael Huerta told a legal forum that the agency passed the milestone last week when it topped …

Major Railroads Say They’ll Again Miss Safety Deadline First Set in 2008

Three of the biggest freight railroads operating in the U.S. have told the government they won’t meet a 2018 deadline to start using safety technology intended to prevent accidents like the deadly derailment of an Amtrak train in Philadelphia last …

New Car Safety Features Can Be ‘Turn-Off’ for Confused Drivers

Many Americans buying new cars these days are baffled by a torrent of new safety technology. Some features will automatically turn a car back into its lane if it begins to drift, or hit the brakes if sensors detect that …

Amtrak Crash Spotlights Delay in Federal Mandate for Automatic Brake Technology

The deadly Amtrak derailment near Philadelphia appears to be yet another accident that didn’t have to happen. It could have been avoided if a long-sought safety technology had been installed on its tracks and trains, according to information gathered by …

Delay in Drone Rules Jeopardizes Research, Competitiveness, Congress Told

Commercial drone flights are taking off in other countries while the U.S. lags behind in developing safety regulations that would permit unmanned aircraft operations by a wide array of industries, witnesses told a House panel this week. The Federal Aviation …

Drone Use Takes Off Despite Safety Concerns, Restrictions

The government is getting near-daily reports — and sometimes two or three a day — of drones flying near airplanes and helicopters or close to airports without permission, federal and industry officials told The Associated Press. It’s a sharp increase …

Safety Board Says Rail Oil Tanker Rules Should Be Put on Washington Fast Track

Spurred by a series of fiery train crashes, a push by government and industry to make safer tank cars used for shipping crude oil and ethanol has bogged down in squabbling and finger-pointing over whether they’re needed and if so, …

Grandpa and Grandma Much Safer Behind the Wheel Than Predicted

Safety researchers expressed concern a decade ago that traffic accidents would increase as the nation’s aging population swelled the number of older drivers on the road. Now, they say they’ve been proved wrong. Today’s drivers aged 70 and older are …

U.S., Canada Officials Say Tougher Oil Train Safety Rules Needed

Warning that a “major loss of life” could result from an accident involving the increasing use of trains to transport large amounts of crude oil, U.S. and Canadian accident investigators urged their governments to impose new safety rules. The unusual …