Proposal would fine railroads that don’t use safety system in SC

An aerial view of the site of an early morning train crash Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018 between an Amtrak train, bottom right, and a CSX freight train, top left, in Cayce, SC. The Amtrak passenger train slammed into a freight train in the early morning darkness Sunday, killing at least two Amtrak crew members and injuring more than 110 people, authorities said. (AP Photo/Jeff Blake)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – A South Carolina lawmaker wants to fine rail companies that don’t implement a safety system investigators say could have prevented a deadly weekend crash.

State Sen. Marlon Kimpson told The Associated Press on Wednesday his bill would levy fines of at least $2,500 per month against rail companies that don’t have “positive train control” systems installed by the end of this year.

The system uses sensors and GPS to prevent trains from colliding or derailing. Congress passed a law in 2008 giving railroads seven years to start using the technology, but deadlines have been extended to Dec. 31, 2018.

An Amtrak conductor and engineer were killed early Sunday when their passenger train collided with a parked CSX Corp. freight train. More than 100 injured passengers were sent to hospitals.