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Proposed Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request

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Notice and request for comments.


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 proposed information collection activities. Before submitting this proposed information collection request (ICR) 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 March 1, 2013.


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, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE., Mail Stop 25, Washington, DC 20590, or Ms. Kimberly Toone, Office of Information Technology, RAD-20, Federal Railroad Administration, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE., 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” and should also include the title of the collection of information. Alternatively, comments may be transmitted via facsimile to (202) 493-6216 or (202) 493-6497, or via email to Mr. Brogan at, or to Ms. Toone at Please refer to the assigned OMB control number 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.


Mr. Robert Brogan, Office of Planning and Evaluation Division, RRS-21, Federal Railroad Administration, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE., Mail Stop 25, Washington, DC 20590 (telephone: (202) 493-6292) or Ms. Kimberly Toone, Office of Information Technology, RAD-20, Federal Railroad Administration, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE., Mail Stop 35, Washington, DC 20590 (telephone: (202) 493-6132). (These telephone numbers are not toll-free.)


The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), Public Law 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 for reinstatement or renewal 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 the proposed Information Collection Request (ICR) that FRA will submit for clearance by OMB as required under the PRA:

Title: Electronic Device Distraction (EDD) Survey

OMB Control Number: 2130-New

Abstract: Operating railroad equipment while being distracted by the use of electronic devices (e.g., phones, game consoles, personal computers, etc.) is known to be a factor in some accidents and suspected of being the cause of many others in the railroad industry. It is also known that such use is dangerous, as evidenced by several high profile accidents in the railroad industry, and by research on distraction in other transportation modes. Consequently, the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) have a keen interest in devising counter measures to reduce the incidence of electronic device distraction (EDD) in the railroad industry. In order to devise effective countermeasures, FRA believes a survey of select rail employees would be extremely beneficial. Therefore, FRA proposes to sample railroad employees spread across the jobs of conductors, engineers, signalmen, maintenance of way, car repair personnel, machinists, and supervisors. The agency's interest is shared by rail labor and management representatives, who are strongly supporting this survey and cooperating in its administration. All involved realize that effective counter measures to EDD must be based on a trustworthy understanding of the following: (1) Who is engaged in EDD, (2) under what circumstances they use these devices, (3) which devices are used, (4) reasons for use, and (5) frequency of use for each kind of device. Effective interventions cannot be designed, implemented, or evaluated without accurate information on these topics. The proposed survey is designed to provide this information, first as a baseline, and, in four subsequent years, as a way of tracking and evaluating change. For reasons of effectiveness and efficiency, the survey will be conducted primarily via the Web, augmented as needed with email communications.

Form Number(s): FRA F 680.158.

Affected Public: Railroad Employees.

Respondent Universe: 11,000 Railroad Employees.

Frequency of Submission: On occasion.

Reporting Burden:

CFR sectionRespondent universeTotal annual responsesAverage Time per response
Form FRA F 6180.15811,000 Railroad Employees11,000 forms/surveys20 minutes3,667

Total Responses: 11,000.

Estimated Total Annual Burden: 3,667 hours.

Type of Request: Approval of a New Information Collection.

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.

Authority: 44 U.S.C. §§ 3501-3520.

Issued in Washington, DC on December 21, 2012.

Rebecca Pennington,

Chief Financial Officer, Federal Railroad Administration.

[FR Doc. 2012-31382 Filed 12-28-12; 8:45 am]