Sen. Mike SimmonsSPRINGFIELD – In response to a horrific November 2023 incident where a Chicago Transit Authority Yellow Line train collided with a snowplow leaving dozens injured, State Senator Mike Simmons advanced legislation to implement annual reports containing safety recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board to prevent similar accidents.

“Passenger rail travel is an essential mode of transportation for Chicago residents,” said Simmons (D-Chicago). “I am committed to making sure our commuter trains are safe by bringing systems up-to-date on a consistent basis, across the board.”

Senate Bill 3451 was drafted by Simmons in response to a driver of a CTA Yellow Line train colliding with a snowplow Nov. 16, 2023 in Rogers Park. When the operator saw the snowplow on the tracks, they hit the emergency brakes, but the train didn't stop in time. The train and the snowplow collided at 27 mph. According to National Transportation Safety Board reports, there was a design flaw in the Yellow Line signaling system accounting for the accident.

Simmons’ measure will mandate annual reports from the Illinois Department of Transportation, the Regional Transit Authority, the Chicago Transit Authority and Metra detailing rail safety recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board made in the past 12 months and the status of their implementation by Dec. 31 each year.

“We have to ensure that all our transit systems are up to date with the latest configurations and recommendations,” said Simmons. “Everyone should be able to use rail transportation with peace of mind. Senate Bill 3451 will hold our transportation agencies accountable in providing the safest, most reliable service possible to our communities.”

Senate Bill 3451 passed the Senate Transportation Committee on Tuesday.