Whether PTC would have saved lives in the Washington state crash is immaterial. There have been plenty of rail accidents in which it obviously would have done the job. And as much as Secretary Chao’s letter is helpful, she should go further and warn freight carriers that she will be issuing no last-minute reprieves or extensions to carriers that can’t meet the current deadline. Those who worry they won’t meet the timetable can petition the White House and Congress for emergency financial aid to speed construction. If the Trump administration is serious about improving transportation infrastructure in 2018, as claimed, it’s not too great a leap for Washington to climb on board this effort, too. After all, President Donald Trump recently bragged about his role in making 2017 the safest year on record in commercial air travel. How much better if his administration could play a role in actually making it safer to travel on some mode of transportation?