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(625 ILCS 5/18c-7402)
(from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 18c-7402)
Safety requirements for railroad operations.
(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 paragraph.
(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 control.
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 paragraph.
(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 crash 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, 2001.
(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.
P.A. 101-294, eff. 1-1-20; 102-982, eff. 7-1-23