SPRINGFIELD- A measure sponsored by State Senator Ram Villivalam would protect confidentiality of train crew members in fatal accident reports.

“Often these fatality reports list personal identifiable information of train crew members that is not essential for accountability and investigative purposes,” said Villivalam (D-Chicago). “Because of this, it is important that we continue to protect workers identities when the information is not pertinent to the reports.”

Currently, Illinois ranked third according to a 2022 report from the Illinois Commerce Commission on total railroad collisions and had 30 reported fatalities within a year. This measure would allow for personal identifying information in railroad fatality reports, as well as communications between police officers and train crew members, to not be disclosed to the public. A non-redacted version would still be available upon request.

“Although it may seem important to know who was involved in the accident, we need to make sure that workers and their families are supported with necessary protections from potential retaliation,” said Villivalam.

House Bill 5189 passed the Senate on Tuesday.