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Proposed Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request

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Federal Railroad Administration, DOT.




In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and its implementing regulations, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) hereby announces that it is seeking approval of the following information collection activities. Before submitting these information collection requirements for clearance by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), FRA is soliciting public comment on specific aspects of the activities identified below.


Comments must be received no later than April 9, 2007.


Submit written comments on any or all of the following proposed activities by mail to either: Mr. Robert Brogan, Office of Safety, Planning and Evaluation Division, RRS-21, Federal Railroad Administration, 1120 Vermont Ave., NW., Mail Stop 17, Washington, DC 20590, or Ms. Gina Christodoulou, Office of Support Systems Staff, RAD-43, Federal Railroad Administration, 1120 Vermont Ave., NW., Mail Stop 35, Washington, DC 20590. Commenters requesting FRA to acknowledge receipt of their respective comments must include a self-addressed stamped postcard stating, “Comments on OMB control number 2130-New.” Alternatively, comments may be transmitted via facsimile to (202) 493-6230 or (202) 493-6170, or E-mail to Mr. Brogan at, or to Ms. Christodoulou at Please refer to the assigned OMB control number or collection title in any correspondence submitted. FRA will summarize comments received in response to this notice in a subsequent notice and include them in its information collection submission to OMB for approval.

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Mr. Robert Brogan, Office of Planning and Evaluation Division, RRS-21, Federal Railroad Administration, 1120 Vermont Ave., NW., Mail Stop 17, Washington, DC 20590 (telephone: (202) 493-6292) or Ms. Gina Christodoulou, Office of Support Systems Staff, RAD-43, Federal Railroad Administration, 1120 Vermont Ave., NW., Mail Stop 35, Washington, DC 20590 (telephone: (202) 493-6139). (These telephone numbers are not toll-free.)

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The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), Pub. L. No. 104-13, § 2, 109 Stat. 163 (1995) (codified as revised at 44 U.S.C. §§ 3501-3520), and its implementing regulations, 5 CFR Part 1320, require Federal agencies to provide 60-days notice to the public for comment on information collection activities before seeking approval by OMB. 44 U.S.C. § 3506(c)(2)(A); 5 CFR §§ 1320.8(d)(1), 1320.10(e)(1), 1320.12(a). Specifically, FRA invites interested respondents to comment on the following summary of proposed information collection activities regarding (i) Whether the information collection activities are necessary for FRA to properly execute its functions, including whether the activities will have practical utility; (ii) the accuracy of FRA's estimates of the burden of the information collection activities, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used to determine the estimates; (iii) ways for FRA to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information being collected; and (iv) ways for FRA to minimize the burden of information collection activities on the public by automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology (e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses). See 44 U.S.C. § 3506(c)(2)(A)(i)-(iv); 5 CFR 1320.8(d)(1)(i)-(iv). FRA believes that soliciting public comment will promote its efforts to reduce the administrative and paperwork burdens associated with the collection of information mandated by Federal regulations. In summary, FRA reasons that comments received will advance three objectives: (i) Reduce reporting burdens; (ii) ensure that it organizes information collection requirements in a “user friendly” format to improve the use of such information; and (iii) accurately assess the resources expended to retrieve and produce information requested. See 44 U.S.C. § 3501.

Below is a brief summary of proposed new information collection activities that FRA will submit for clearance by OMB as required under the PRA: Start Printed Page 5494

Title: Causal Analysis and Countermeasures to Reduce Rail-Related Suicides.

OMB Control Number: 2130-New.

Abstract: Pedestrian trespassing on railroad property resulting in serious injury or death is one of the two most serious safety problems—the second being grade crossing collisions—facing the railroad industry and its regulators not only in the United States but also in other countries. It is widely believed in the United States that the reported prevalence and incidence of railway suicide vastly under-represents the nature and extent of the problem. There is no central reporting system within the railroad industry or suicide prevention field that provides verifiable information about how many trespass deaths are accidental versus intentional. Therefore, there are no verifiable measures of the extent of rail-related suicides in this country. While railroad companies must report trespass incidents resulting in serious injury or death to the U.S. Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), injuries or deaths that are ruled by a medical examiner or coroner to be intentional are not reported. Preliminary figures from 2006 indicate there were approximately 500 deaths and 360 injuries reported to FRA—an increase of 100 incidents over the previous year—but suicides are not represented in these numbers. Unverifiable estimates from a number of sources range from 150 to more than 300 suicides per year on the U.S. railways. Like any other incident on the rail system, a suicide on the tracks results in equipment and facility damage, delays to train schedules, and trauma to railroad personnel involved in the incidents. As a result, FRA last year awarded a grant for the first phase of a five-year project to reduce suicides on the rail system to the Railroad Research Foundation (part of the Association of American Railroads) and its subcontractor, the American Association of Suicidology (AAS). In the course of the five-year project, the research project's goals include: (i) A prevalence assessment to determine verifiable numbers of suicides on the rail system; (ii) Development of a standardized reporting tool for industry use; (iii) A causal analysis and root cause analysis of suicide incidents that occur during the grant cycle; and (iv) Design and implementation of suicide prevention measures for the nation's rail system to reduce suicide injuries and deaths. AAS is also receiving a grant from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to study suicides on commuter rail lines throughout the country. Consequently, AAS has expanded its study to include commuter lines as well, and will be using the same collection instruments once they are approved by the Office of Management and Budget.

This collection of information pertains to Phase II of the project, the causal analysis. In order to understand as much as possible about people who intend to die by placing themselves in the path of a train and, therefore, to design prevention strategies, AAS intends to conduct 70 psychological autopsies over the course of two years on people who die by rail-related suicide. Psychological autopsy is a recognized and accepted method for obtaining information about physical, emotional, and circumstantial contributors to a person's death. The 70 psychological autopsies proposed for the FRA and FTA projects will involve interviews with witnesses to these incidents—rail and commuter personnel and members of the public—as well as family members, friends, employers, and co-workers. After conducting a root cause analysis of this data, AAS will then work with the industry to design, pilot test, and implement effective countermeasures with the goal of reducing deaths, injuries, and psychological trauma.

Form Number(s): FRA F 6180.125A; FRA F 6180.125B.

Affected Public: Railroad Personnel, Members of the Public, Affected Family and Friends.

Respondent Universe: 210 Railroad Personnel/Members of the Public/Affected Family and Friends.

Frequency of Submission: On occasion.

Estimated Annual Burden: 60 hours.

Status: Regular Review.

Pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 3507(a) and 5 CFR §§ 1320.5(b), 1320.8(b)(3)(vi), FRA informs all interested parties that it may not conduct or sponsor, and a respondent is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

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Authority: 44 U.S.C. §§ 3501-3520.

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Issued in Washington, DC on January 31, 2007.

D.J. Stadtler,

Director, Office of Budget, Federal Railroad Administration.

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[FR Doc. E7-1826 Filed 2-5-07; 8:45 am]