H. B. 4430
(By Delegates L. Smith, Hall, Warner,
Mattaliano, Douglas, Staton and Boggs
[Introduced February 7, 2000; referred to the
Committee on Roads and Transportation then the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend and reenact sections two and six, article two-a,
chapter thirty-one of the code of West Virginia, one
thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to
blocking emergency vehicles at railroad crossings; and
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That sections two and six, 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
ARTICLE 2A. RAILROAD CROSSING.
§31-2A-2. Blocking of crossing prohibited; time limit.
shall be is unlawful for any railroad company, except
in an emergency, to order, allow or permit the operation of or to
operate or to so operate its system so that a train blocks the
passage of vehicular traffic over the railroad crossing of any public street, road or highway of this state for a period longer
than ten minutes. This section does not apply to an obstruction
of any such street, road or highway caused by a continuously
moving train or caused by circumstances wholly beyond the control
of the railroad, but does apply to all other obstructions as
aforesaid, including, but not limited to, those caused by a
stopped train or a train engaged in switching, loading or
unloading operations: Provided, That if any such train is within
the jurisdictional limits of any municipality which now has or
hereafter shall have in force and effect an ordinance limiting
the time a railroad crossing may be blocked by a train, such
ordinance shall govern, and the provisions of this article shall
not be applicable.
(b) Upon receiving notification from a law-enforcement
officer, member of a fire department, operator of an emergency
vehicle, or a member of an emergency services provider that
emergency circumstances require the immediate clearing of a
public highway railroad grade crossing, the members of the train
crew of the train, railroad car or equipment, or engine blocking
such crossing shall immediately notify the appropriate railroad
dispatcher of the pending emergency situation. Upon receipt of
notice of such emergency circumstances by the train crew or
dispatcher, the railroad shall immediately clear the crossing,
consistent with the safe operation of the train.
§31-2A-6. Fines and penalties.
If any railroad company, carrier or railroad
violates the provisions of this article it shall be is guilty of
a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not
less than fifty one thousand dollars.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to provide that a train
may be cleared from a public highway railroad crossing when it is
blocking certain emergency vehicles.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken
from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language
that would be added.