Technical Reports

Compilation of State Laws and Regulations Affecting Highway-Rail Grade Crossings, 6th Edition

  • 15
  • Apr
  • 2014
AUTHOR: Office of Railroad Safety
SUBJECT: Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Warning Systems, Highway-Rail Grade Crossings, Trespasser Programs
KEYWORDS: crossing consolidation; crossing closure; warning devices; passive; active; driver; trespassing; vandalism
ABSTRACT: The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has identified roughly 250,523 public and private highway-rail grade crossings in the United States. Most aspects of jurisdiction over highway-rail grade crossings reside with the States. Within some States, responsibility is divided between several public agencies. In other states, jurisdiction over highway-rail grade crossings is assigned to a regulatory agency such as the public utility commission, public service commission, or state corporation commission. Still other states divide the authority among public administrative agencies of the state, county, city, and town having jurisdiction and responsibility for their respective highway systems. State and local law enforcement agencies are responsible for the enforcement of traffic laws at highway-rail grade crossings. In a number of cases, local governments are responsible for certain operational matters related to crossings and this is accomplished through various ordinances. This is a reference for researchers, engineers, students, and legal practioners in the field of highway-rail grade crossing safety seeking state-specific laws and regulations affecting highway-rail grade crossings. This Sixth Edition publication provides an overview of new and existing state laws and regulations as of February 2013. Each chapter presents a different highway-rail grade crossing subject area and contains an introductory overview of the subject area. Moreover, unlike the Fifth Edition, excerpts from the laws of each individual state and the District of Columbia relative to the subject matter are presented, in order to serve as a practical tool for legislators, policymakers, and lawyers. In addition, each subject area is addressed from a practical orientation. Therefore, while there are some laws that deal with multiple subject areas, excerpts of applicable statutes have been published in the most relevant sections.