Bill would make assaulting rail crew members a federal offense

By Mary Wisniewski, Chicago Tribune; May 16, 2018

On the one-year anniversary of the shooting of an Amtrak conductor in Naperville, Democratic Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois on Wednesday introduced a bipartisan bill that would make assault or intimidation of passenger rail crew members a federal offense, which could lead to tougher penalties.

The bill, co-sponsored by Sen. John Hoeven, a North Dakota Republican, would provide the same federal protections to passenger rail engineers, conductors and other on-board service personnel as are provided to airline crew members, said a news release from Duckworth’s office. Currently, any assault against a rail crew member is handled under the laws of the local jurisdiction where the crime is committed.

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