Rail

Ill. bill doubles fines for drivers who illegally cross railroad tracks

Posted on May 25, 2016

Jed
Jed

The Illinois House passed an amendment to the Illinois Vehicle Code that increases the penalties for drivers who try to cross railroad tracks after the signals are activated and gates are down. The bill will now move to Gov. Rauner’s desk for his signature.

The legislation doubles the fines from $250 to $500 for a first offense and from $500 to $1,000 for a second or subsequent offense.

Last year, Illinois ranked second in the nation in highway-rail fatalities, with nearly 25% of vehicle/train collisions occurring at crossings with active warning devices, including lights, gates and bells, according to Illinois Operation Lifesaver. If this legislation becomes law, Illinois will have some of the strictest penalties in the nation for these types of vehicular offenses.

The legislation was initiated by Metra this spring as part of a larger initiative to help promote rail safety awareness and eliminate preventable injuries and deaths at highway-rail grade crossings. The House passed Senate Bill 2806 today with 113-0 vote. The bill was approved by the Senate on April 21.

“Our message is simple: when the gates are down, stay off the tracks or you will pay the price through these increased fines or worse,” said Metra’s Executive Director/CEO Don Orseno. “In addition to the potential and tragic loss of life, collisions that occur at our railroad crossings can impact thousands of Metra customers, who can be delayed for hours at a time, and can also delay motorists.”

Brian Moore
Brian Moore

Illinois has the second-largest rail system of any state with more than 7,300 miles of railroad track and 10,363 public highway-rail crossings. In 2015, Illinois also had the third-highest number of rail crossing collisions (140, behind Texas and California), the second-highest number of rail crossing fatalities (24, behind California) and the third-highest number of rail crossing injuries (79, behind Texas and North Carolina), according to the Federal Railroad Administration. Two hundred and forty-four people died in highway-rail crashes nationwide in 2015. A pedestrian or vehicle-train collision occurs every three hours on average nationwide.

In March, Metra announced plans to conduct Operation Lifesaver Safety Blitzes at 45 train stations across its six-county service area in 2016 as part of its ongoing efforts to raise awareness of the importance of safe behavior around its trains and tracks.

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Amtrak CEO calls for new era of infrastructure investment

Moorman outlined projects that warrant significant investment including construction of the Portal North Bridge and new Hudson Tunnels in New Jersey.

Bill introduced requiring greater transparency about train safety audits

The measure was unveiled by two House Representatives from New Jersey, where it was found after a deadly crash in September that NJ Transit was the subject of a deep federal audit.

City to sue Sound Transit, WSDOT over light rail expansion plans

Mercer Island residents — even when driving solo — have had access to I-90's high-occupancy vehicle lanes, however later this year when construction gets underway to add light rail across the I-90 express lanes, that access will go away.

Wash. state Governor budgets $1M to study high-speed rail

The study would come at a time when transit agencies and departments of transportation around the U.S. are watching President Donald Trump for signs of what they can expect in terms of federal funding in the next four years.

UW-Madison team wins Innovation Award in Hyperloop competition

The team competed against 30 teams from colleges and universities from around the world in the second phase of SpaceX’s Hyperloop pod competition.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close