State's highest court upholds Montana's whistle statute

| Wednesday, December 26, 2001

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.

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