Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of Public Act 101-0294
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Public Act 101-0294


Public Act 0294 101ST GENERAL ASSEMBLY



Public Act 101-0294
SB0024 EnrolledLRB101 04864 TAE 49873 b

    AN ACT concerning transportation.
    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:
    Section 1. Policy; findings. It is the public policy of the
State of Illinois to enhance public safety by establishing a
minimum freight train operating crew size to address the
transportation of all freight, including, but not limited to,
hazardous and volatile materials, on the railroads of Illinois.
The transportation of this freight, coupled with substantially
longer trains, creates significant health, safety, and
security concerns for local communities. Adequate railroad
operating personnel are critical to ensuring railroad
operational safety and security and in supporting first
responder activities in the event of a hazardous material
incident, grade crossing incident, or mechanical failure.
    Section 5. The Illinois Vehicle Code is amended by changing
Section 18c-7402 as follows:
    (625 ILCS 5/18c-7402)  (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 18c-7402)
    Sec. 18c-7402. Safety requirements for railroad
    (1) Obstruction of crossings.
        (a) Obstruction of emergency vehicles. Every railroad
    shall be operated in such a manner as to minimize
    obstruction of emergency vehicles at crossings. Where such
    obstruction occurs and the train crew is aware of the
    obstruction, the train crew shall immediately take any
    action, consistent with safe operating procedure,
    necessary to remove the obstruction. In the Chicago and St.
    Louis switching districts, every railroad dispatcher or
    other person responsible for the movement of railroad
    equipment in a specific area who receives notification that
    railroad equipment is obstructing the movement of an
    emergency vehicle at any crossing within such area shall
    immediately notify the train crew through use of existing
    communication facilities. Upon notification, the train
    crew shall take immediate action in accordance with this
        (b) Obstruction of highway at grade crossing
    prohibited. It is unlawful for a rail carrier to permit any
    train, railroad car or engine to obstruct public travel at
    a railroad-highway grade crossing for a period in excess of
    10 minutes, except where such train or railroad car is
    continuously moving or cannot be moved by reason of
    circumstances over which the rail carrier has no reasonable
        In a county with a population of greater than
    1,000,000, as determined by the most recent federal census,
    during the hours of 7:00 a.m. through 9:00 a.m. and 4:00
    p.m. through 6:00 p.m. it is unlawful for a rail carrier to
    permit any single train or railroad car to obstruct public
    travel at a railroad-highway grade crossing in excess of a
    total of 10 minutes during a 30 minute period, except where
    the train or railroad car cannot be moved by reason or
    circumstances over which the rail carrier has no reasonable
    control. Under no circumstances will a moving train be
    stopped for the purposes of issuing a citation related to
    this Section.
        However, no employee acting under the rules or orders
    of the rail carrier or its supervisory personnel may be
    prosecuted for a violation of this subsection (b).
        (c) Punishment for obstruction of grade crossing. Any
    rail carrier violating paragraph (b) of this subsection
    shall be guilty of a petty offense and fined not less than
    $200 nor more than $500 if the duration of the obstruction
    is in excess of 10 minutes but no longer than 15 minutes.
    If the duration of the obstruction exceeds 15 minutes the
    violation shall be a business offense and the following
    fines shall be imposed: if the duration of the obstruction
    is in excess of 15 minutes but no longer than 20 minutes,
    the fine shall be $500; if the duration of the obstruction
    is in excess of 20 minutes but no longer than 25 minutes,
    the fine shall be $700; if the duration of the obstruction
    is in excess of 25 minutes, but no longer than 30 minutes,
    the fine shall be $900; if the duration of the obstruction
    is in excess of 30 minutes but no longer than 35 minutes,
    the fine shall be $1,000; if the duration of the
    obstruction is in excess of 35 minutes, the fine shall be
    $1,000 plus an additional $500 for each 5 minutes of
    obstruction in excess of 25 minutes of obstruction.
    (2) Other operational requirements.
        (a) Bell and whistle-crossings. Every rail carrier
    shall cause a bell, and a whistle or horn to be placed and
    kept on each locomotive, and shall cause the same to be
    rung or sounded by the engineer or fireman, at the distance
    of at least 1,320 feet, from the place where the railroad
    crosses or intersects any public highway, and shall be kept
    ringing or sounding until the highway is reached; provided
    that at crossings where the Commission shall by order
    direct, only after a hearing has been held to determine the
    public is reasonably and sufficiently protected, the rail
    carrier may be excused from giving warning provided by this
        (a-5) The requirements of paragraph (a) of this
    subsection (2) regarding ringing a bell and sounding a
    whistle or horn do not apply at a railroad crossing that
    has a permanently installed automated audible warning
    device authorized by the Commission under Section
    18c-7402.1 that sounds automatically when an approaching
    train is at least 1,320 feet from the crossing and that
    keeps sounding until the lead locomotive has crossed the
    highway. The engineer or fireman may ring the bell or sound
    the whistle or horn at a railroad crossing that has a
    permanently installed audible warning device.
        (b) Speed limits. Each rail carrier shall operate its
    trains in compliance with speed limits set by the
    Commission. The Commission may set train speed limits only
    where such limits are necessitated by extraordinary
    circumstances affecting the public safety, and shall
    maintain such train speed limits in effect only for such
    time as the extraordinary circumstances prevail.
        The Commission and the Department of Transportation
    shall conduct a study of the relation between train speeds
    and railroad-highway grade crossing safety. The Commission
    shall report the findings of the study to the General
    Assembly no later than January 5, 1997.
        (c) Special speed limit; pilot project. The Commission
    and the Board of the Commuter Rail Division of the Regional
    Transportation Authority shall conduct a pilot project in
    the Village of Fox River Grove, the site of the fatal
    school bus accident at a railroad crossing on October 25,
    1995, in order to improve railroad crossing safety. For
    this project, the Commission is directed to set the maximum
    train speed limit for Regional Transportation Authority
    trains at 50 miles per hour at intersections on that
    portion of the intrastate rail line located in the Village
    of Fox River Grove. If the Regional Transportation
    Authority deliberately fails to comply with this maximum
    speed limit, then any entity, governmental or otherwise,
    that provides capital or operational funds to the Regional
    Transportation Authority shall appropriately reduce or
    eliminate that funding. The Commission shall report to the
    Governor and the General Assembly on the results of this
    pilot project in January 1999, January 2000, and January
    2001. The Commission shall also submit a final report on
    the pilot project to the Governor and the General Assembly
    in January 2001. The provisions of this subsection (c),
    other than this sentence, are inoperative after February 1,
        (d) Freight train crew size. No rail carrier shall
    operate or cause to operate a train or light engine used in
    connection with the movement of freight unless it has an
    operating crew consisting of at least 2 individuals. The
    minimum freight train crew size indicated in this
    subsection (d) shall remain in effect until a federal law
    or rule encompassing the subject matter has been adopted.
    The Commission, with respect to freight train crew member
    size under this subsection (d), has the power to conduct
    evidentiary hearings, make findings, and issue and enforce
    orders, including sanctions under Section 18c-1704 of this
    Chapter. As used in this subsection (d), "train or light
    engine" does not include trains operated by a hostler
    service or utility employees.
    (3) Report and investigation of rail accidents.
        (a) Reports. Every rail carrier shall report to the
    Commission, by the speediest means possible, whether
    telephone, telegraph, or otherwise, every accident
    involving its equipment, track, or other property which
    resulted in loss of life to any person. In addition, such
    carriers shall file a written report with the Commission.
    Reports submitted under this paragraph shall be strictly
    confidential, shall be specifically prohibited from
    disclosure, and shall not be admissible in any
    administrative or judicial proceeding relating to the
    accidents reported.
        (b) Investigations. The Commission may investigate all
    railroad accidents reported to it or of which it acquires
    knowledge independent of reports made by rail carriers, and
    shall have the power, consistent with standards and
    procedures established under the Federal Railroad Safety
    Act, as amended, to enter such temporary orders as will
    minimize the risk of future accidents pending notice,
    hearing, and final action by the Commission.
(Source: P.A. 100-201, eff. 8-18-17.)

Effective Date: 1/1/2020