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Florida legislature considering high-speed rail safety bill, including fence line

Posted at 10:33 PM, Jan 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-23 04:10:01-05

Brightline has promised safety improvements after three people have been hit, two of them killed, since the service started this month. 

RELATED: Brightline outlines safety campaign after deaths

But even before any of these deadly crashes, state leaders were working on a bill to improve high speed passenger rail safety, all paid for by the rail service. 

There might not be a perfect solution, but an idea being considered in Tallahassee is to add fence line, in some areas, parallel to the tracks. 

Dustin Luan and Brittany Galli live nearby and walk across the tracks daily, where a man was hit a killed last week, in Boynton Beach. 

“I don’t think it’s a bad idea. I don’t know who’s gonna pay for it,” said Dustin, who lives near the tracks where a man was hit and killed last week by a Brightline train. That man went around and activated crossing arms. 

Republican State Sen. Debbie Mayfield, who represents Indian River County, sponsors Senate Bill 572.

Part of it would allow for the Florida Department of Transportation to assess and decide which areas would benefit from a fence. 

After a public meeting in the area to debate it, a fence would go up and the passenger rail service would pay for it. Every last dollar, according to the proposal.

“A deterrent to keep people out or crossing in areas you’re not supposed to cross. A deterrent is probably good for certain people,” Dustin said.

“There’s gonna be five to six more restaurants that are going to be added to this street, in the next two or three years. You're going to have a lot more volume of people walking through here,” Brittany said.

Mayfield tweeted Monday afternoon her support of the bill and its house counterpart (HB 525), announcing a Tuesday morning press conference.