Ohio Considering Bill Requiring Vehicle Operators to Watch for On-Track Equipment

A work train passes through Duluth, Ga., on Feb. 5, 2019. (Photo by Todd DeFeo/The DeFeo Groupe)

A proposed bill in Ohio requires a vehicle operator to watch, listen, and stop for on-track equipment that may be approaching a railroad crossing.

House Bill 226 applies the current penalties for failing to watch, listen, and stop for trains to failing to watch, listen and stop for on-track equipment.

On-track equipment generally includes large and heavy construction and cleaning equipment. Railroads often use this type of equipment for track repairs, can be as large as a train.

The bill requires a vehicle operator to stop between 15 and 50 feet away from the tracks for several reasons, including if a crossing gate is lowered or if a flag person gives off a warning that a train or other on-track equipment is approaching. It also requires drivers to stop if there is insufficient space on the other side of the railroad crossing.

The bill makes it a fourth-degree misdemeanor to fail to stop for a train, or under the bill, for on-track equipment.

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