Senate's Committee on Transportation, Highways and Public Works
passed two bills (SB51 and SB52) that could force railroad companies
to make crossings safer for motorists and pedestrians.
require maintenance of railroad crossing areas, including keeping
the area free of vegetation that may obstruct the view of drivers
and pedestrians. The bill extends the railroad companies' responsibility
to 500 feet in all directions, "or the maximum extent of
the railroad's right of way, whichever is less."
law provides that after a 30-day written notice, the appropriate
local governing authority may perform the necessary maintenance
and charge the railroad for the expenses. Additionally, the
bill could subject the railroad to a fine of $1,000 to $5,000
for each violation.
railroad companies to install traffic control devices at public
railroad crossings located within one-half mile of any elementary
or secondary school. Although the proposed law allows the use
of federal funds, if available, to defray costs, the bill requires
the railroad companies to pay 100 percent of the installation
costs at crossings if no federal funds are available.