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Introduced Version House Bill 2137 History

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hb2137 intr
H. B. 2137


(By Delegate Frederick)

[Introduced February 10, 2005 ; referred to the

Committee on the Judiciary.]





A BILL to amend the code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §61-3B-6 , relating to trespass; trespass on a track of a railroad; persons authorized to be on a track of a railroad; definitions; and penalties.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

That the code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated §61-3B-6 , to read as follows:

ARTICLE 3B. TRESPASS.

§61-3B-6. Trespass on track of a railroad.

(a) For the purposes of this section:

(1) "Consent" means an affirmative act of permission by a railroad carrier to a certain person that the person may pass over the tracks of a railroad. Consent cannot be implied by the failure
of the railroad carrier to post signs, give verbal notice, or give any other form of notice that a person is not permitted to pass over the tracks of a railroad;
(2) "Passengers" mean persons who are traveling by train with lawful authority and who do not participate in the train's operation. The term "passenger" does not include stowaways;

(3) "Railroad" means any form of nonhighway ground transportation that runs on rails or electromagnetic guideways for which a certificate of incorporation has been filed with the secretary of state;

(4) "Railroad carrier" means a person providing railroad transportation; and

(5) "Track" means the rails, ties and ballast used for railroad service which has not been abandoned.

(b) Any person who knowingly goes upon the track of a railroad, without lawful authority or the railroad carrier's consent, except for the purpose of crossing the track of a railroad at a public highway or other authorized crossing is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than one hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars: Provided, That the provisions of this article do not apply in a labor dispute.

(c) Subsection (b) above does not apply to the following persons:

(1) Passengers on trains, or employees of a railroad carrier;

(2) Police officers, firefighters, peace officers and emergency response personnel, while engaged in the performance of their official duties;

(3) A person going upon railroad property in an emergency to rescue a person or animal such as livestock, pets or wildlife from harm's way, or to remove an object that the person reasonably believes to pose an imminent threat to life or limb;

(4) A person on the station grounds or in the depot of the railroad carrier as a passenger, or for the purpose of transacting lawful business;

(5) A person, or the person's family or invitee, or the person's employee or independent contractor going upon the track of a railroad for the purpose of crossing at a private crossing site approved by the railroad carrier to obtain access to land that the person owns, leases or operates;

(6) A person having written permission from the railroad carrier to go upon the track in question;

(7) Representatives, agents or consultants of the Public Service Commission or Division of Highways while engaged in the performance of their official duties;

(8) Representatives of the Federal Railroad Administration while engaged in the performance of their official duties;

(9) Representatives of the National Transportation Safety
Board while engaged in the performance of their official duties;
(10) Collective bargaining representatives of a railroad employee, employees of a railroad labor organization, and representatives of a fraternal benefit society for a railroad labor organization; or

(11) Any person engaged in an otherwise lawful activity who makes a necessary and incidental pass over the track of a railroad by means other than motorized vehicle or device in the course of conducting that activity: Provided, That this exemption shall not apply to areas of track posted as hazardous by the railroad after reasonable investigation.





NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to define the offense of trespassing on a railroad track and to make such trespassing a misdemeanor.

This section is new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.
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