Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SB0024
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Full Text of SB0024  101st General Assembly




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1    AN ACT concerning transportation.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 1. Policy; findings. It is the public policy of the
5State of Illinois to enhance public safety by establishing a
6minimum freight train operating crew size to address the
7transportation of all freight, including, but not limited to,
8hazardous and volatile materials, on the railroads of Illinois.
9The transportation of this freight, coupled with substantially
10longer trains, creates significant health, safety, and
11security concerns for local communities. Adequate railroad
12operating personnel are critical to ensuring railroad
13operational safety and security and in supporting first
14responder activities in the event of a hazardous material
15incident, grade crossing incident, or mechanical failure.
16    Section 5. The Illinois Vehicle Code is amended by changing
17Section 18c-7402 as follows:
18    (625 ILCS 5/18c-7402)  (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 18c-7402)
19    Sec. 18c-7402. Safety requirements for railroad
21    (1) Obstruction of crossings.
22        (a) Obstruction of emergency vehicles. Every railroad



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1    shall be operated in such a manner as to minimize
2    obstruction of emergency vehicles at crossings. Where such
3    obstruction occurs and the train crew is aware of the
4    obstruction, the train crew shall immediately take any
5    action, consistent with safe operating procedure,
6    necessary to remove the obstruction. In the Chicago and St.
7    Louis switching districts, every railroad dispatcher or
8    other person responsible for the movement of railroad
9    equipment in a specific area who receives notification that
10    railroad equipment is obstructing the movement of an
11    emergency vehicle at any crossing within such area shall
12    immediately notify the train crew through use of existing
13    communication facilities. Upon notification, the train
14    crew shall take immediate action in accordance with this
15    paragraph.
16        (b) Obstruction of highway at grade crossing
17    prohibited. It is unlawful for a rail carrier to permit any
18    train, railroad car or engine to obstruct public travel at
19    a railroad-highway grade crossing for a period in excess of
20    10 minutes, except where such train or railroad car is
21    continuously moving or cannot be moved by reason of
22    circumstances over which the rail carrier has no reasonable
23    control.
24        In a county with a population of greater than
25    1,000,000, as determined by the most recent federal census,
26    during the hours of 7:00 a.m. through 9:00 a.m. and 4:00



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1    p.m. through 6:00 p.m. it is unlawful for a rail carrier to
2    permit any single train or railroad car to obstruct public
3    travel at a railroad-highway grade crossing in excess of a
4    total of 10 minutes during a 30 minute period, except where
5    the train or railroad car cannot be moved by reason or
6    circumstances over which the rail carrier has no reasonable
7    control. Under no circumstances will a moving train be
8    stopped for the purposes of issuing a citation related to
9    this Section.
10        However, no employee acting under the rules or orders
11    of the rail carrier or its supervisory personnel may be
12    prosecuted for a violation of this subsection (b).
13        (c) Punishment for obstruction of grade crossing. Any
14    rail carrier violating paragraph (b) of this subsection
15    shall be guilty of a petty offense and fined not less than
16    $200 nor more than $500 if the duration of the obstruction
17    is in excess of 10 minutes but no longer than 15 minutes.
18    If the duration of the obstruction exceeds 15 minutes the
19    violation shall be a business offense and the following
20    fines shall be imposed: if the duration of the obstruction
21    is in excess of 15 minutes but no longer than 20 minutes,
22    the fine shall be $500; if the duration of the obstruction
23    is in excess of 20 minutes but no longer than 25 minutes,
24    the fine shall be $700; if the duration of the obstruction
25    is in excess of 25 minutes, but no longer than 30 minutes,
26    the fine shall be $900; if the duration of the obstruction



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1    is in excess of 30 minutes but no longer than 35 minutes,
2    the fine shall be $1,000; if the duration of the
3    obstruction is in excess of 35 minutes, the fine shall be
4    $1,000 plus an additional $500 for each 5 minutes of
5    obstruction in excess of 25 minutes of obstruction.
6    (2) Other operational requirements.
7        (a) Bell and whistle-crossings. Every rail carrier
8    shall cause a bell, and a whistle or horn to be placed and
9    kept on each locomotive, and shall cause the same to be
10    rung or sounded by the engineer or fireman, at the distance
11    of at least 1,320 feet, from the place where the railroad
12    crosses or intersects any public highway, and shall be kept
13    ringing or sounding until the highway is reached; provided
14    that at crossings where the Commission shall by order
15    direct, only after a hearing has been held to determine the
16    public is reasonably and sufficiently protected, the rail
17    carrier may be excused from giving warning provided by this
18    paragraph.
19        (a-5) The requirements of paragraph (a) of this
20    subsection (2) regarding ringing a bell and sounding a
21    whistle or horn do not apply at a railroad crossing that
22    has a permanently installed automated audible warning
23    device authorized by the Commission under Section
24    18c-7402.1 that sounds automatically when an approaching
25    train is at least 1,320 feet from the crossing and that
26    keeps sounding until the lead locomotive has crossed the



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1    highway. The engineer or fireman may ring the bell or sound
2    the whistle or horn at a railroad crossing that has a
3    permanently installed audible warning device.
4        (b) Speed limits. Each rail carrier shall operate its
5    trains in compliance with speed limits set by the
6    Commission. The Commission may set train speed limits only
7    where such limits are necessitated by extraordinary
8    circumstances affecting the public safety, and shall
9    maintain such train speed limits in effect only for such
10    time as the extraordinary circumstances prevail.
11        The Commission and the Department of Transportation
12    shall conduct a study of the relation between train speeds
13    and railroad-highway grade crossing safety. The Commission
14    shall report the findings of the study to the General
15    Assembly no later than January 5, 1997.
16        (c) Special speed limit; pilot project. The Commission
17    and the Board of the Commuter Rail Division of the Regional
18    Transportation Authority shall conduct a pilot project in
19    the Village of Fox River Grove, the site of the fatal
20    school bus accident at a railroad crossing on October 25,
21    1995, in order to improve railroad crossing safety. For
22    this project, the Commission is directed to set the maximum
23    train speed limit for Regional Transportation Authority
24    trains at 50 miles per hour at intersections on that
25    portion of the intrastate rail line located in the Village
26    of Fox River Grove. If the Regional Transportation



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1    Authority deliberately fails to comply with this maximum
2    speed limit, then any entity, governmental or otherwise,
3    that provides capital or operational funds to the Regional
4    Transportation Authority shall appropriately reduce or
5    eliminate that funding. The Commission shall report to the
6    Governor and the General Assembly on the results of this
7    pilot project in January 1999, January 2000, and January
8    2001. The Commission shall also submit a final report on
9    the pilot project to the Governor and the General Assembly
10    in January 2001. The provisions of this subsection (c),
11    other than this sentence, are inoperative after February 1,
12    2001.
13        (d) Freight train crew size. No rail carrier shall
14    operate or cause to operate a train or light engine used in
15    connection with the movement of freight unless it has an
16    operating crew consisting of at least 2 individuals. The
17    minimum freight train crew size indicated in this
18    subsection (d) shall remain in effect until a federal law
19    or rule encompassing the subject matter has been adopted.
20    The Commission, with respect to freight train crew member
21    size under this subsection (d), has the power to conduct
22    evidentiary hearings, make findings, and issue and enforce
23    orders, including sanctions under Section 18c-1704 of this
24    Chapter. As used in this subsection (d), "train or light
25    engine" does not include trains operated by a hostler
26    service or utility employees.



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1    (3) Report and investigation of rail accidents.
2        (a) Reports. Every rail carrier shall report to the
3    Commission, by the speediest means possible, whether
4    telephone, telegraph, or otherwise, every accident
5    involving its equipment, track, or other property which
6    resulted in loss of life to any person. In addition, such
7    carriers shall file a written report with the Commission.
8    Reports submitted under this paragraph shall be strictly
9    confidential, shall be specifically prohibited from
10    disclosure, and shall not be admissible in any
11    administrative or judicial proceeding relating to the
12    accidents reported.
13        (b) Investigations. The Commission may investigate all
14    railroad accidents reported to it or of which it acquires
15    knowledge independent of reports made by rail carriers, and
16    shall have the power, consistent with standards and
17    procedures established under the Federal Railroad Safety
18    Act, as amended, to enter such temporary orders as will
19    minimize the risk of future accidents pending notice,
20    hearing, and final action by the Commission.
21(Source: P.A. 100-201, eff. 8-18-17.)