State of Illinois
90th General Assembly

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[ Introduced ][ Senate Amendment 001 ]


      70 ILCS 3615/2.03         from Ch. 111 2/3, par. 702.03
          Amends the Regional Transportation Authority Act.   Makes
      a technical change in the Section concerning operations.
SB301 Engrossed                                LRB9001740DNsb
 1        AN  ACT  to  amend  the Illinois Vehicle Code by changing
 2    Sections 18c-7401 and 18c-7402.
 3        Be it enacted by the People of  the  State  of  Illinois,
 4    represented in the General Assembly:
 5        Section  5.   The  Illinois  Vehicle  Code  is amended by
 6    changing Sections 18c-7401 and 18c-7402 as follows:
 7        (625 ILCS 5/18c-7401) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 18c-7401)
 8        Sec.   18c-7401.    Safety   Requirements   for    Track,
 9    Facilities, and Equipment.
10        (1)  General   Requirements.  Each  rail  carrier  shall,
11    consistent with rules, orders, and regulations of the Federal
12    Railroad Administration, construct, maintain, and operate all
13    of its equipment, track, and other property in this State  in
14    such  a  manner  as to pose no undue risk to its employees or
15    the person or property of any member of the public.
16        (2)  Adoption of  Federal  Standards.  The  track  safety
17    standards  and accident/incident standards promulgated by the
18    Federal Railroad Administration shall be safety standards  of
19    the  Commission.   The  Commission may, in addition, adopt by
20    reference in its regulations other  federal  railroad  safety
21    standards,  whether  contained  in  federal  statutes  or  in
22    regulations adopted pursuant to such statutes.
23        (3)  Railroad  Crossings.  No  public  road,  highway, or
24    street shall hereafter be constructed across the track of any
25    rail carrier at grade,  nor  shall  the  track  of  any  rail
26    carrier  be  constructed  across  a  public  road, highway or
27    street at grade, without having first secured the  permission
28    of  the  Commission;  provided,  that  this Section shall not
29    apply to the replacement of lawfully existing roads, highways
30    and tracks.  The Commission shall have the  right  to  refuse
31    its  permission or to grant it upon such terms and conditions
SB301 Engrossed             -2-                LRB9001740DNsb
 1    as it may prescribe.  The  Commission  shall  have  power  to
 2    determine  and prescribe the manner, including the particular
 3    point of crossing, and the terms of installation,  operation,
 4    maintenance, use and protection of each such crossing.
 5        The Commission shall also have power, after a hearing, to
 6    require  major  alteration  of  or  to  abolish any crossing,
 7    heretofore or hereafter established, when in its opinion, the
 8    public safety requires such  alteration  or  abolition,  and,
 9    except   in   cities,  villages  and  incorporated  towns  of
10    1,000,000 or more inhabitants, to vacate and close that  part
11    of  the  highway  on  such  crossing altered or abolished and
12    cause barricades to be erected across such  highway  in  such
13    manner  as  to prevent the use of such crossing as a highway,
14    when,  in  the  opinion  of  the   Commission,   the   public
15    convenience served by the crossing in question is not such as
16    to  justify  the  further  retention thereof; or to require a
17    separation of grades, at such  crossings;  or  to  require  a
18    separation  of  grades  at  any  proposed  crossing  where  a
19    proposed  public  highway  may  cross  the tracks of any rail
20    carrier or carriers; and to prescribe, after a hearing of the
21    parties, the terms upon which such separations shall be  made
22    and  the proportion in which the expense of the alteration or
23    abolition of such crossings or the separation of such  grades
24    shall  be  divided  between  the  rail  carrier  or  carriers
25    affected,  or between such carrier or carriers and the State,
26    county, municipality or other public authority in interest.
27        The Commission shall also have  power  by  its  order  to
28    require   the   reconstruction,   minor   alteration,   minor
29    relocation  or  improvement  of  any  crossing (including the
30    necessary highway approaches thereto) of any railroad  across
31    any highway or public road, whether such crossing be at grade
32    or   by   overhead  structure  or  by  subway,  whenever  the
33    Commission finds after a hearing  or  without  a  hearing  as
34    otherwise    provided    in    this   paragraph   that   such
SB301 Engrossed             -3-                LRB9001740DNsb
 1    reconstruction,  alteration,  relocation  or  improvement  is
 2    necessary to preserve or promote the safety or convenience of
 3    the public or of the employees or  passengers  of  such  rail
 4    carrier or carriers. For the purpose of this Section, a minor
 5    alteration  shall  include  the  installation  of any type of
 6    remote  control  track  switch,  technical   or   operational
 7    improvement,  or  any  other  actions  the  Commission  deems
 8    necessary  to reduce the occupancy of crossings by trains and
 9    increase public safety. By its original order or supplemental
10    orders  in  such  case,  the  Commission  may   direct   such
11    reconstruction,  alteration, relocation, or improvement to be
12    made in such manner and upon such terms and conditions as may
13    be reasonable and necessary and may  apportion  the  cost  of
14    such  reconstruction,  alteration,  relocation or improvement
15    and the  subsequent  maintenance  thereof  between  the  rail
16    carrier or carriers and public utilities affected, or between
17    such  carrier or carriers and public utilities and the State,
18    county, municipality or other public authority  in  interest.
19    The  cost  to  be  so  apportioned  shall include the cost of
20    changes or alterations in the equipment of  public  utilities
21    affected  as well as the cost of the relocation, diversion or
22    establishment of any public highway, made necessary  by  such
23    reconstruction, alteration, relocation or improvement of said
24    crossing.  A hearing shall not be required in those instances
25    when  the  Commission  enters  an  order confirming a written
26    stipulation in  which  the  Commission,  the  public  highway
27    authority in interest, the rail carrier or carriers affected,
28    and  in  instances  involving  the  use of the Grade Crossing
29    Protection Fund, the Illinois Department  of  Transportation,
30    agree  on  the  reconstruction,  alteration,  relocation,  or
31    improvement  and  the  subsequent maintenance thereof and the
32    division of costs of  such  changes  of  any  grade  crossing
33    (including  the  necessary highway approaches thereto) of any
34    railroad across any highway.
SB301 Engrossed             -4-                LRB9001740DNsb
 1        Every rail carrier operating in  the  State  of  Illinois
 2    shall  construct and maintain every highway crossing over its
 3    tracks  within  the  State  so  that  the  roadway   at   the
 4    intersection   shall   be   as   flush   with  the  rails  as
 5    superelevated  curves  will  allow,  and,  unless   otherwise
 6    ordered  by  the Commission, shall construct and maintain the
 7    approaches thereto at a grade of not more than 5% within  the
 8    right  of  way  for a distance of not less the 6 feet on each
 9    side of the centerline of such  tracks;  provided,  that  the
10    grades  at  the  approaches may be maintained in excess of 5%
11    only when authorized by the Commission.
12        Every rail carrier  operating  within  this  State  shall
13    remove  from  its  right of way at all grade crossings within
14    the State, such brush, shrubbery, and trees as is  reasonably
15    practical  for a distance of not less than 500 feet in either
16    direction from each grade crossing. The Commission shall have
17    power, upon its own motion,  or  upon  complaint,  and  after
18    having made proper investigation, to require the installation
19    of  adequate  and  appropriate  luminous  reflective  warning
20    signs,  luminous flashing signals, crossing gates illuminated
21    at night, or other protective devices in order to promote and
22    safeguard the health  and  safety  of  the  public.  Luminous
23    flashing  signal  or crossing gate devices installed at grade
24    crossings, which have been approved by the Commission,  shall
25    be deemed adequate and appropriate. The Commission shall have
26    authority to determine the number, type, and location of such
27    signs,  signals,  gates,  or  other protective devices which,
28    however, shall conform as  near  as  may  be  with  generally
29    recognized  national standards, and the Commission shall have
30    authority to prescribe  the  division  of  the  cost  of  the
31    installation   and  subsequent  maintenance  of  such  signs,
32    signals, gates, or other protective devices between the  rail
33    carrier   or   carriers,  the  public  highway  authority  in
34    interest, and in instances involving the  use  of  the  Grade
SB301 Engrossed             -5-                LRB9001740DNsb
 1    Crossing   Protection   Fund,   the  Illinois  Department  of
 2    Transportation.
 3        No railroad may  change  or  modify  the  warning  device
 4    system   at  a  railroad-highway  grade  crossing,  including
 5    warning systems interconnected with highway  traffic  control
 6    signals,  without  having  first received the approval of the
 7    Commission.  The Commission shall  have  the  further  power,
 8    upon  application, upon its own motion, or upon complaint and
 9    after  having  made  proper  investigation,  to  require  the
10    interconnection  of  grade  crossing  warning  devices   with
11    traffic  control  signals at highway intersections located at
12    or near railroad crossings within the distances described  by
13    the  State  Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices adopted
14    pursuant to Section 11-301 of this Code.  In addition,  State
15    and  local authorities may not install, remove, modernize, or
16    otherwise  modify  traffic  control  signals  at  a   highway
17    intersection   that  is  interconnected  or  proposed  to  be
18    interconnected with grade crossing warning devices  when  the
19    change  affects  the  number,  type,  or  location of traffic
20    control devices on the track approach  leg  or  legs  of  the
21    intersection   or  the  timing  of  the  railroad  preemption
22    sequence of operation until the Commission has  approved  the
23    installation,   removal,   modernization,   or  modification.
24    Commission approval shall  be  limited  to  consideration  of
25    issues   directly   affecting   the   public  safety  at  the
26    railroad-highway  grade  crossing.   The  electrical  circuit
27    devices, alternate warning devices, and preemption  sequences
28    shall   conform   as  nearly  as  possible,  considering  the
29    particular characteristics of the crossing  and  intersection
30    area,  to the State manual adopted by the Illinois Department
31    of Transportation pursuant to Section 11-301 of this Code and
32    such federal standards as are made applicable  by  subsection
33    (2)  of  this Section.  In order to carry out this authority,
34    the Commission shall have  the  authority  to  determine  the
SB301 Engrossed             -6-                LRB9001740DNsb
 1    number,  type, and location of traffic control devices on the
 2    track approach leg or legs of the intersection and the timing
 3    of  the  railroad  preemption   sequence  of  operation.  The
 4    Commission  shall  prescribe  the  division  of   costs   for
 5    installation  and maintenance of all devices required by this
 6    paragraph between the railroad or railroads and  the  highway
 7    authority  in  interest and in instances involving the use of
 8    the Grade Crossing Protection Fund or a  State  highway,  the
 9    Illinois Department of Transportation.
10        Any  person who unlawfully or maliciously removes, throws
11    down, damages or defaces any  sign,  signal,  gate  or  other
12    protective  device,  located  at  or  near  any  public grade
13    crossing, shall be guilty of a petty offense  and  fined  not
14    less  than  $50  nor  more  than  $200  for each offense.  In
15    addition to fines levied under the provisions of this Section
16    a person adjudged guilty hereunder may also  be  directed  to
17    make  restitution  for the costs of repair or replacement, or
18    both, necessitated by his misconduct.
19        It is the public policy  of  the  State  of  Illinois  to
20    enhance  public  safety by establishing safe grade crossings.
21    In order to implement  this  policy,  the  Illinois  Commerce
22    Commission  is  directed  to  conduct  public hearings and to
23    adopt specific criteria  by  July  1,  1994,  that  shall  be
24    adhered to by the Illinois Commerce Commission in determining
25    if  a  grade  crossing  should  be  opened or abolished.  The
26    following  factors  shall  be  considered  by  the   Illinois
27    Commerce  Commission  in developing the specific criteria for
28    opening and abolishing grade crossings:
29             (a)  timetable speed of passenger trains;
30             (b)  distance to an alternate crossing;
31             (c)  accident history for the last 5 years;
32             (d)  number of vehicular traffic  and  posted  speed
33        limits;
34             (e)  number  of  freight  trains and their timetable
SB301 Engrossed             -7-                LRB9001740DNsb
 1        speeds;
 2             (f)  the type of warning device present at the grade
 3        crossing;
 4             (g)  alignments of the roadway and railroad, and the
 5        angle of intersection of those alignments;
 6             (h)  use of the grade crossing  by  trucks  carrying
 7        hazardous  materials,  vehicles  carrying  passengers for
 8        hire, and school buses; and
 9             (i)  use  of  the  grade   crossing   by   emergency
10        vehicles.
11        The  Illinois  Commerce Commission, upon petition to open
12    or abolish a grade crossing, shall enter an order opening  or
13    abolishing  the  crossing  if  it meets the specific criteria
14    adopted by the Commission.
15        In no instance shall  a  grade  crossing  be  permanently
16    closed  without public hearing first being held and notice of
17    such hearing being published in an area  newspaper  of  local
18    general circulation.
19        (4)  Freight   Trains   -   Radio   Communications.   The
20    Commission  shall  after hearing and order require that every
21    main line railroad freight train  operating  on  main  tracks
22    outside  of  yard  limits within this State shall be equipped
23    with a radio  communication  system.   The  Commission  after
24    notice and hearing may grant exemptions from the requirements
25    of this Section as to secondary and branch lines.
26        (5)  Railroad   Bridges   and   Trestles  -  Walkway  and
27    Handrail. In cases in which the Commission finds the same  to
28    be  practical and necessary for safety of railroad employees,
29    bridges and trestles, over and upon which railroad trains are
30    operated, shall  include  as  a  part  thereof,  a  safe  and
31    suitable walkway and handrail on one side only of such bridge
32    or  trestle,  and such handrail shall be located at the outer
33    edge of the walkway and shall provide a clearance of not less
34    than 8 feet, 6 inches, from the center line  of  the  nearest
SB301 Engrossed             -8-                LRB9001740DNsb
 1    track, measured at right angles thereto.
 2        (6)  Packages   Containing  Articles  for  First  Aid  to
 3    Injured on Trains. All rail carriers shall provide a  package
 4    containing the articles prescribed by the Commission, on each
 5    train  or engine, for first aid to persons who may be injured
 6    in the course of the operation of such trains.
 7        (7)  Abandoned Bridges, Crossings, and Other Rail  Plant.
 8    The   Commission  shall  have  authority,  after  notice  and
 9    hearing, to order:
10             (a)  The removal of any  abandoned  railroad  tracks
11        from roads, streets or other thoroughfares in this State;
12        and
13             (b)  The  removal  of  abandoned  overhead  railroad
14        structures crossing highways, waterways, or railroads.
15        The  Commission  may equitably apportion the cost of such
16    actions  between  the  rail  carrier  or   carriers,   public
17    utilities,  and  the  State,  county, municipality, township,
18    road district, or other public authority in interest.
19    (Source: P.A. 88-296; 89-699, eff. 1-16-97.)
20        (625 ILCS 5/18c-7402) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 18c-7402)
21        Sec.  18c-7402.    Safety   Requirements   for   Railroad
22    Operations.
23        (1)  Obstruction of Crossings.
24             (a)  Obstruction   of   Emergency   Vehicles.  Every
25        railroad shall  be  operated  in  such  a  manner  as  to
26        minimize  obstruction of emergency vehicles at crossings.
27        Where such obstruction occurs and the train crew is aware
28        of the obstruction, the train crew shall immediately take
29        any action, consistent  with  safe  operating  procedure,
30        necessary  to remove the obstruction.  In the Chicago and
31        St. Louis switching districts, every railroad  dispatcher
32        or  other person responsible for the movement of railroad
33        equipment in a specific area  who  receives  notification
SB301 Engrossed             -9-                LRB9001740DNsb
 1        that railroad equipment is obstructing the movement of an
 2        emergency  vehicle at any crossing within such area shall
 3        immediately notify the train crew through use of existing
 4        communication facilities.  Upon notification,  the  train
 5        crew  shall take immediate action in accordance with this
 6        paragraph.
 7             (b)  Obstruction  of  Highway  at   Grade   Crossing
 8        Prohibited.  It  is unlawful for a rail carrier to permit
 9        any train, railroad car  or  engine  to  obstruct  public
10        travel  at a railroad-highway grade crossing for a period
11        in  excess  of  10  minutes,  except  where  such  train,
12        railroad or car is continuously moving or cannot be moved
13        by reason of circumstances over which  the  rail  carrier
14        has  no  reasonable control.  However, no employee acting
15        under the rules or orders of  the  rail  carrier  or  its
16        supervisory   personnel   may   be  prosecuted  for  such
17        violations.
18             (c)  Punishment for Obstruction of  Grade  Crossing.
19        Any   rail   carrier  violating  paragraph  (b)  of  this
20        subsection shall be guilty of a petty offense  and  fined
21        not  less than $200 nor more than $500 if the duration of
22        the obstruction is in excess of 10 minutes but no  longer
23        than  15  minutes.   If  the  duration of the obstruction
24        exceeds 15 minutes the  violation  shall  be  a  business
25        offense and the following fines shall be imposed:  if the
26        duration  of  the  obstruction is in excess of 15 minutes
27        but no longer than 20 minutes, the fine shall be $500; if
28        the duration of  the  obstruction  is  in  excess  of  20
29        minutes  but no longer than 25 minutes, the fine shall be
30        $700; if the duration of the obstruction is in excess  of
31        25 minutes, but no longer than 30 minutes, the fine shall
32        be  $900; if the duration of the obstruction is in excess
33        of 30 minutes but no longer than  35  minutes,  the  fine
34        shall be $1,000; if the duration of the obstruction is in
SB301 Engrossed             -10-               LRB9001740DNsb
 1        excess  of  35  minutes, the fine shall be $1,000 plus an
 2        additional $500 for each  5  minutes  of  obstruction  in
 3        excess of 25 minutes of obstruction.
 4             (d)  Chronic   obstruction   of  a  grade  crossing.
 5        Within the Chicago  switching  district,  the  Commission
 6        may,  after  investigation,  make  a determination that a
 7        railroad has engaged in the chronic obstruction of  grade
 8        crossings.  A railroad engages in the chronic obstruction
 9        of  a  grade crossing when its trains repeatedly and with
10        great rate of recurrence obstruct  a  grade  crossing  by
11        frequently  stopping  and causing disruption of vehicular
12        traffic and endangering  the  lives  and  safety  of  the
13        citizens  of this State by interfering with the operation
14        of ambulances and police and  fire  department  vehicles.
15        Once  a railroad is designated as chronically obstructing
16        a grade crossing, the penalty for obstructing that  grade
17        crossing  is a Class C misdemeanor for the first offense.
18        For a second or subsequent offense at the  same  location
19        the  penalty  is a Class B misdemeanor and the fine shall
20        be triple the fine amount of the first offense.
21        (2)  Other Operational Requirements.
22             (a)  Bell and Whistle-Crossings. Every rail  carrier
23        shall  cause  a  bell, and a whistle or horn to be placed
24        and kept on each locomotive, and shall cause the same  to
25        be  rung  or  sounded  by the engineer or fireman, at the
26        distance of a least 1,320 feet, from the place where  the
27        railroad  crosses  or  intersects any public highway, and
28        shall be kept ringing or sounding until  the  highway  is
29        reached;  provided that at crossings where the Commission
30        shall by order direct, only after a hearing has been held
31        to determine the public is  reasonably  and  sufficiently
32        protected,  the  rail  carrier may be excused from giving
33        warning provided by this paragraph.
34             (b)  Speed Limits. Each rail carrier  shall  operate
SB301 Engrossed             -11-               LRB9001740DNsb
 1        its  trains  in  compliance  with speed limits set by the
 2        Commission.  The Commission may set  train  speed  limits
 3        only  where such limits are necessitated by extraordinary
 4        circumstances effecting  the  public  safety,  and  shall
 5        maintain  such train speed limits in effect only for such
 6        time as the extraordinary circumstances prevail.
 7             The Commission and the Department of  Transportation
 8        shall  conduct  a  study  of  the  relation between train
 9        speeds and railroad-highway grade crossing  safety.   The
10        Commission  shall report the findings of the study to the
11        General Assembly no later than January 5, 1997.
12        (3)  Report and Investigation of Rail Accidents.
13             (a)  Reports. Every rail carrier shall report to the
14        Commission, by  the  speediest  means  possible,  whether
15        telephone,   telegraph,   or  otherwise,  every  accident
16        involving its equipment, track, or other  property  which
17        resulted  in  loss  of  life to any person.  In addition,
18        such carriers  shall  file  a  written  report  with  the
19        Commission.  Reports submitted under this paragraph shall
20        be   strictly   confidential,   shall   be   specifically
21        prohibited from disclosure,  and shall not be  admissible
22        in  any administrative or judicial proceeding relating to
23        the accidents reported.
24             (b)  Investigations. The Commission may  investigate
25        all  railroad  accidents  reported  to  it or of which it
26        acquires knowledge independent of reports  made  by  rail
27        carriers,  and  shall  have  the  power,  consistent with
28        standards and procedures established  under  the  Federal
29        Railroad  Safety Act, as amended, to enter such temporary
30        orders as will minimize  the  risk  of  future  accidents
31        pending   notice,   hearing,  and  final  action  by  the
32        Commission.
33    (Source: P.A. 89-699, eff. 1-16-97.)
SB301 Engrossed             -12-               LRB9001740DNsb
 1        Section 99.  Effective date.  This Act takes effect  upon
 2    becoming law.

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