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Proposed Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request

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Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Department of Transportation (DOT).


Notice of information collection; request for comment.


Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), this notice announces that FRA is forwarding the Information Collection Request (ICR) abstracted below to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and comment. The ICR describes the information collection and its expected burden. On September 17, 2018, FRA published a notice providing a 60-day period for public comment on the ICR.


Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before March 11, 2019.

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Submit written comments on the ICR to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, 725 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20503, Attention: FRA Desk Officer. Comments may also be sent via email to OMB at the following address:

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Mr. Robert Brogan, Information Collection Clearance Officer, Office of Railroad Safety, Regulatory Analysis Division, RRS-21, Federal Railroad Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Room W33-497, Washington, DC 20590 (telephone: (202) 493-6292); or Ms. Kim Toone, Information Collection Clearance Officer, Office of Administration, Office of Information Technology, RAD-20, Federal Railroad Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Room W34-212, Washington, DC 20590 (telephone: (202) 493-6132).

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The PRA, 44 U.S.C. 3501-3520, and its implementing regulations, 5 CFR part 1320, require Federal agencies to issue two notices seeking public comment on information collection activities before OMB may approve paperwork packages. See 44 U.S.C. 3506, 3507; 5 CFR 1320.8 through 1320.12. On September 17, 2018, FRA published a 60-day notice in the Federal Register soliciting comment on the ICR for which it is now seeking OMB approval. See 83 FR 47000. FRA received no comments in response to this notice.

Before OMB decides whether to approve this proposed collection of information, it must provide 30 days for public comment. Federal law requires OMB to approve or disapprove paperwork packages between 30 and 60 days after the 30-day notice is published. 44 U.S.C. 3507(b)-(c); 5 CFR 1320.10(b); see also 60 FR 44978, 44983, Aug. 29, 1995. OMB believes the 30-day notice informs the regulated community to file relevant comments and affords the agency adequate time to digest public comments before it renders a decision. 60 FR 44983, Aug. 29, 1995. Therefore, respondents should submit their respective comments to OMB within 30 days of publication to best ensure having their full effect.

Comments are invited on the following ICR regarding: (1) Whether the information collection activities are necessary for FRA to properly execute its functions, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) 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; (3) ways for FRA to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information being collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of information collection activities on the public, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

The summary below describes the ICR that FRA will submit for OMB clearance as the PRA requires:

Title: Driver Awareness of Emergency Notification System (ENS) Signage at Highway-Rail Grade Crossings.

OMB Control Number: 2130-NEW.

Abstract: FRA is interested in knowing more about drivers' awareness and understanding of the ENS signs posted at highway-rail grade crossings. ENS signs are placed at crossings so that if a driver encounters a malfunctioning crossing or an unsafe condition at a crossing the driver can call the number on the sign and use the posted crossing identification number to report the issue. If a driver were to become stuck on the tracks, the driver can also call the phone number displayed on the ENS sign to notify the railroad. This would help the railroad slow or stop any oncoming train and dispatch individuals who could help safely remove the stuck vehicle. Drivers may also choose to call the ENS number if they believe the crossing signage is damaged or obstructed. The study will help shed light on how drivers react when crossing infrastructure appears to be malfunctioning or when they become stuck on or near the crossing. This study will pay particular attention to whether drivers look for or attempt to make use of the information on the ENS sign.

The proposed study will use the FRA Driving Simulator, housed at the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, to study driver behavior, including drivers' potential interaction with the ENS signage, at a variety of gate types and ENS sign orientations.

Participants will be asked to drive through a variety of scenarios to understand their behaviors under certain circumstances. The data collected in this portion will include information on the vehicle driver's:

a. Behavior to determine what a driver does and where the driver looks when at a crossing equipped with a functioning warning system;

b. behavior to determine how a driver responds to a malfunctioning crossing gate (e.g., violated safety signals, turned around and found another route);

c. eye fixation locations to determine whether the driver notices an ENS sign or if the driver's eye fixates long enough to read it, when crossing warning systems are functioning properly or malfunctioning;

d. response to an ENS sign to determine whether the driver would use the information on the sign to address the issue; and

e. response to an ENS sign to determine whether the driver would use the information on the sign if the driver becomes stuck on the tracks.

This study will evaluate each participant's awareness of the ENS sign and the purpose it serves as well as the participant's response to various functioning and malfunctioning highway-rail grade crossing warning systems.

Type of Request: Approval of a new collection of information.

Affected Public: Individuals.

Form(s): N/A.

Respondent Universe: 100 individual volunteer drivers.

Frequency of Submission: One-time.

Total Estimated Annual Responses: 100.

Total Estimated Annual Burden: 100 hours.

Under 44 U.S.C. 3507(a) and 5 CFR 1320.5(b) and 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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Brett A. Jortland,

Acting Chief Counsel.

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[FR Doc. 2019-01337 Filed 2-6-19; 8:45 am]