The Montana Supreme Court
recently ruled a judge was wrong to limit the railroad's whistle warning requirements
to public crossings. The case involved a 1999 train collision with an all-terrain
vehicle at a private crossing west of Helena. A five-judge panel unanimously
agreed the state's whistle statute is clear when it says trains must sound
a warning when approaching all railroad crossings.
Further, the panel said
District Judge Dorothy McCarter erred in throwing out the lawsuit in this
case based on her erroneous decision that the law did not include private
crossings. The state's Supreme Court decision reversed McCarter's judgment.