H. B. 2360
(By Delegates Mezzatesta, Michael, J. Martin,
Willison, Thompson, Osborne and Kallai)
[Introduced February 3, 1995; referred to the
Committee on Roads and Transportation.]
A BILL to amend and reenact sections one and three, article
twelve, chapter seventeen-c of the code of West Virginia,
one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating
to increasing fines and penalties for violations of railroad
crossing stop laws for motor vehicle drivers.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That sections one and three, article twelve, chapter
seventeen-c of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine
hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read
ARTICLE 12. SPECIAL STOPS REQUIRED.
§17C-12-1. Obedience to signal indicating approach of train.
(a) Whenever any person driving a vehicle approaches a
railroad grade crossing under any of the circumstances stated in
this section, the driver of such vehicle shall stop within fifty
feet but not less than fifteen feet from the nearest rail of such
railroad, and shall not proceed until he can do so safely. The
foregoing requirements shall apply when:
(1) A clearly visible electric or mechanical signal device
gives warning of the immediate approach of a railroad train;
(2) A crossing gate is lowered or when a human flagman gives
or continues to give a signal of the approach or passage of a
(3) A railroad train approaching within approximately one
thousand five hundred feet of the highway crossing emits a signal
audible from such distance and such railroad train, by reason of
its speed or nearness to such crossing, is an immediate hazard;
(4) Any approaching railroad train is plainly visible and is
in hazardous proximity to such crossing.
(b) No person shall drive any vehicle through, around, or
under any crossing gate or barrier at a railroad crossing while
such gate or barrier is closed or is being opened or closed.
(c) Any person failing to comply with the requirements of
this section is guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction
thereof, shall be fined two hundred fifty dollars or imprisoned
for not more than ten days. The commissioner shall promulgate
rules to further penalize those convicted of violating this
section by levying three points against the violators license
§17C-12-3. Certain vehicles must stop at all railroad grade
(a) The driver of any motor vehicle carrying passengers for
hire, or of any school bus carrying any school child, or of any
vehicle carrying explosive substances or flammable liquids or
hazardous materials as a cargo or part of a cargo, or of any
vehicle owned by an employer which, in carrying on such
employer's business or in carrying employees to and from work, is
carrying more than six employees of such employer, before
crossing at grade any track or tracks of a railroad, shall stop
such vehicle within fifty feet but not less than fifteen feet
from the nearest rail of such railroad and while so stopped shall
listen and look in both directions along such track for any approaching train, and for signals indicating the approach of a
train, except as hereinafter provided, and shall not proceed
until he can do so safely. After stopping as required herein and
upon proceeding when it is safe to do so the driver of any said
vehicle shall cross only in such gear of the vehicle that there
will be no necessity for changing gears while traversing such
crossing and the driver shall not shift gears while crossing the
track or tracks.
(b) No stop need be made at any such crossing where a police
officer or a traffic-control signal directs traffic to proceed.
(c) This section shall not apply at street railway grade
crossings within a business or residence district.
(d) Any person driving on a commercial drivers license who
fails to comply with the requirements of this section is guilty
of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined
five hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than ten days.
The commissioner shall promulgate rules to further penalize those
convicted of violating this section by levying three points
against the violators license record.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to increase fines and
penalties for failing to stop at railroad crossings.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken
from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language
that would be added.