Introduced Version






HOUSE BILL No. 1055

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DIGEST OF INTRODUCED BILL



Citations Affected: IC 8-6-4; IC 34-30-2-24.4.

Synopsis: Whistle posts. Requires a railroad company to erect a sign that is: (1) visible from an approaching train; and (2) at least 1/4 mile in advance of a crossing (except a crossing subject to a local whistle ban) to notify the operator of the engine to sound the locomotive's whistle. Requires the railroad company to maintain the sign in good repair or replace the sign. Provides that a railroad company that violates this requirement is liable to the state for a penalty of at least $250 but not more than $5,000 to be recovered in a civil action brought by the state in the circuit or superior court of the county where the crossing is located. Makes technical changes.

Effective: July 1, 2009.





Kersey




    January 7, 2009, read first time and referred to Committee on Interstate and International Cooperation.







Introduced

First Regular Session 116th General Assembly (2009)


PRINTING CODE. Amendments: Whenever an existing statute (or a section of the Indiana Constitution) is being amended, the text of the existing provision will appear in this style type, additions will appear in this style type, and deletions will appear in this style type.
Additions: Whenever a new statutory provision is being enacted (or a new constitutional provision adopted), the text of the new provision will appear in this style type. Also, the word NEW will appear in that style type in the introductory clause of each SECTION that adds a new provision to the Indiana Code or the Indiana Constitution.
Conflict reconciliation: Text in a statute in this style type or this style type reconciles conflicts between statutes enacted by the 2008 Regular Session of the General Assembly.

HOUSE BILL No. 1055



    A BILL FOR AN ACT to amend the Indiana Code concerning utilities and transportation.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Indiana:

SOURCE: IC 8-6-4-1; (09)IN1055.1.1. -->     SECTION 1. IC 8-6-4-1 IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2009]: Sec. 1. (a) A railroad company operating in this state shall equip every locomotive engine with a whistle and a bell, maintained in good working order, such as are used by other railroad companies. Except when approaching a crossing to which an ordinance adopted under subsection (c) (d) applies, the engineer or other person in charge of or operating an engine upon the line of a railroad shall, when the engine approaches the crossing of a turnpike, public highway, or street in this state: beginning not less than one-fourth (1/4) mile from the crossings:
        (1) sound the whistle on the engine distinctly not less than four (4) times, which sounding shall be prolonged or repeated until the crossing is reached; and
        (2) ring the bell attached to the engine continuously from the time of sounding the whistle until the engine has fully passed the crossing.
    (b) A railroad company shall erect a sign that is:
        (1) at least one-fourth (1/4) mile in advance of a crossing; and
        (2) visible from an approaching train;
to notify the engineer or other person in charge of or operating an engine to sound the engine's whistle in accordance with federal law. The railroad company shall maintain
the sign in good repair or replace the sign. However, this subsection does not apply to a crossing to which an ordinance adopted under subsection (d) applies.
    (b) (c) It is unlawful for an engineer or other person in charge of a locomotive to move the locomotive, or allow it to be moved, over or across a turnpike, public highway, or street crossing if the whistle and bell are not in good working order. It is unlawful for a railroad company to order or permit a locomotive to be moved over or across a turnpike, public highway, or street crossing if the whistle and bell are not in good working order. When a whistle or bell is not in good working order, the locomotive must stop before each crossing and proceed only after manual protection is provided at the crossing by a member of the crew unless manual protection is known to be provided.
    (c) (d) A city, town, or county may adopt an ordinance to regulate the sounding of a whistle or the ringing of a bell under subsection (a) in the city, the town, or the county. However, an ordinance may not prohibit the sounding of a whistle or the ringing of a bell at a crossing that does not have an automatic train activated warning signal as set forth in IC 8-6-7.7-2. An ordinance adopted after June 30, 2003, that prohibits the sounding of a whistle or the ringing of a bell at a crossing must require that signs be posted at the crossing to warn the public that trains do not sound whistles or ring bells at that crossing. Before an ordinance adopted under this subsection goes into effect, the city, town, or county must receive the written permission of the department to regulate the sounding or the ringing. The department shall grant permission only if the department determines, based upon a study conducted by the department, that the ordinance, as applied to the rail corridor identified in the ordinance, increases the overall safety of the corridor for the public. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this subsection, the department shall grant permission to a city or a town to regulate the sounding of a whistle or the ringing of a bell if the city or town had an ordinance regulating the sounding of a whistle or the ringing of a bell that was approved and in effect on January 1, 1991, if the city or town amended or repealed the ordinance, and if the city or town adopts a subsequent ordinance on the same subject. In making its determination during the course of the study, the department shall consider:
        (1) school bus routes;
        (2) emergency service routes;
        (3) hazardous materials routes;
        (4) pedestrian traffic;
        (5) trespassers;
        (6) recreational facilities;
        (7) trails; and
        (8) measures to increase safety in the corridor, including:
            (A) four (4) quadrant gates;
            (B) median barriers;
            (C) crossing closures;
            (D) law enforcement programs; and
            (E) public education.
The study by the department required under this subsection must be completed not later than one hundred twenty (120) days after the department receives notice of the passage of the ordinance from the city, town, or county.
    (d) (e) Notwithstanding a contrary provision in an ordinance adopted under subsection (c), (d), an engineer or other person who is operating an engine shall sound the engine's whistle if, in the determination of the engineer or other person who is operating the engine, an apparent emergency exists.
    (e) (f) A railroad company and the employees of the railroad company are immune from criminal or civil liability for injury or property damage that results from an accident that occurs at a crossing to which an ordinance described in subsection (c) (d) applies if the injury or property damage was proximately caused solely by the railroad company and the employees failing to sound a whistle.
    (f) (g) The Indiana department of transportation shall review crossing safety at each crossing to which an ordinance adopted under subsection (c) (d) applies not less than one (1) time in a five (5) year period.
    (g) (h) The Indiana department of transportation may not revoke the permission granted under subsection (c) (d) for an ordinance.
    (h) (i) The Indiana department of transportation may create pilot railroad crossing safety projects to improve railroad crossing safety.
SOURCE: IC 8-6-4-2; (09)IN1055.1.2. -->     SECTION 2. IC 8-6-4-2 IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2009]: Sec. 2. (a) Every engineer or other person in charge of or operating any such an engine, who shall fail or neglect to comply with the provisions of section 1 of this chapter, shall be held personally liable therefor to the state, of Indiana, in a penalty of not less than ten dollars ($10.00) nor more than fifty dollars

($50.00), to be recovered in a civil action at the suit of said brought by the state in the circuit or superior court of any county wherein such where the crossing may be is located. and
     (b) A railroad company that violates the provisions of IC 1971, 8-6-4-1(b) section 1(c) of this chapter shall be held liable therefor to the state of Indiana, in for a penalty of not less than two hundred fifty dollars ($250) nor more than five thousand dollars ($5,000), to be recovered in a civil action at the suit of said brought by the state in the circuit or superior court of any county wherein such where the crossing may be is located. and The railroad company in whose employ such enginner engineer or person may be, as well as the engineer or person himself, in charge of or operating the engine, shall be liable in damages to any person, or his the person's representatives, who may be injured in property or person, or to any corporation that may be injured in property, by the neglect or failure of said engineer or other person as aforesaid.
    (c) A railroad company that violates section 1(b) of this chapter shall be held liable to the state for a penalty of not less than two hundred fifty dollars ($250) or more than five thousand dollars ($5,000), to be recovered in a civil action brought by the state in the circuit or superior court of any county where the crossing is located.

SOURCE: IC 34-30-2-24.4; (09)IN1055.1.3. -->     SECTION 3. IC 34-30-2-24.4 IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2009]: Sec. 24.4. IC 8-6-4-1(e) IC 8-6-4-1(f) (Concerning a railroad company and its employees for injury or property damage resulting from certain accidents).