H. B. 2922
(By Delegates Boggs, Coleman and Butcher)
[Introduced February 26, 1999; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend and reenact section three, article two-a, chapter
thirty-one of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine
hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to providing
responsibility of railroad company to maintain grade
crossing; and providing a cause of action for damages for
municipalities or counties in which the railroad company
fails to comply with its responsibility to maintain grade
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section three, article two-a, chapter thirty-one of the
code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as
amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 2A. RAILROAD CROSSING.
§31-2A-3. Responsibility of railroad company.
(a) The railroad company shall be solely responsible for the acts of its agents and employees in violating any provision of
this article or any provision of any ordinance of any
municipality or any provision of any order of a county or other
public authority regulating the period of time any such street,
road or highway may be so blocked by a train.
(b) Any railroad whose track or tracks cross a public road
at grade has the duty to maintain such grade crossings in such
condition as to permit the safe and convenient passage of public
traffic. The duty of maintenance includes that portion of the
public road lying between the track or tracks and for two feet
beyond the ends of the crossties on each side of the crossing.
(c) A municipality or, if not located in a municipality, a
county in which is located a grade crossing subject to subsection
(b) of this section, has a cause of action for damages for the
railroad's failure to comply with subsection (b) of this section,
including reasonable attorney's fees, and may also seek an
injunction to prohibit the railroad's continuing failure or
refusal to comply with subsection (b) of this section.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to provide responsibility
of railroad companies to maintain grade crossings; and, to
provide a cause of action for damages for municipalities or
counties in which the railroad company fails to comply with its
responsibility to maintain grade crossings. The bill is closely
modeled after a similar Georgia statute.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken
from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language
that would be added.