State of Illinois
91st General Assembly

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 1        AN ACT to amend the Illinois  Vehicle  Code  by  changing
 2    Section 18c-7402 and adding Section 18c-7402.1.

 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  Section  18c-7402  and adding Section 18c-7402.1 as
 7    follows:

 8        (625 ILCS 5/18c-7402) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 18c-7402)
 9        Sec.   18c-7402.  Safety   Requirements   for    Railroad
10    Operations.
11        (1)  Obstruction of Crossings.
12             (a)  Obstruction   of   Emergency   Vehicles.  Every
13        railroad shall  be  operated  in  such  a  manner  as  to
14        minimize  obstruction of emergency vehicles at crossings.
15        Where such obstruction occurs and the train crew is aware
16        of the obstruction, the train crew shall immediately take
17        any action, consistent  with  safe  operating  procedure,
18        necessary  to remove the obstruction.  In the Chicago and
19        St. Louis switching districts, every railroad  dispatcher
20        or  other person responsible for the movement of railroad
21        equipment in a specific area  who  receives  notification
22        that railroad equipment is obstructing the movement of an
23        emergency  vehicle at any crossing within such area shall
24        immediately notify the train crew through use of existing
25        communication facilities.  Upon notification,  the  train
26        crew  shall take immediate action in accordance with this
27        paragraph.
28             (b)  Obstruction  of  Highway  at   Grade   Crossing
29        Prohibited.  It  is unlawful for a rail carrier to permit
30        any train, railroad car  or  engine  to  obstruct  public
31        travel  at a railroad-highway grade crossing for a period
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 1        in excess of 10  minutes,  except  where  such  train  or
 2        railroad car is continuously moving or cannot be moved by
 3        reason  of  circumstances over which the rail carrier has
 4        no reasonable control.
 5        In a county with a population of greater than  1,000,000,
 6    as  determined  by the most recent federal census, during the
 7    hours of 7:00 a.m. through 9:00 a.m. and  4:00  p.m.  through
 8    6:00  p.m.  it  is  unlawful for a rail carrier to permit any
 9    single train or railroad car to obstruct public travel  at  a
10    railroad-highway  grade  crossing  in excess of a total of 10
11    minutes during a 30 minute period, except where the train  or
12    railroad  car cannot be moved by reason or circumstances over
13    which the rail carrier has no reasonable control.   Under  no
14    circumstances will a moving train be stopped for the purposes
15    of issuing a citation related to this Section.
16        However,  no employee acting under the rules or orders of
17    the  rail  carrier  or  its  supervisory  personnel  may   be
18    prosecuted for a violation of this subsection (b).
19             (c)  Punishment  for  Obstruction of Grade Crossing.
20        Any  rail  carrier  violating  paragraph  (b)   of   this
21        subsection  shall  be guilty of a petty offense and fined
22        not less than $200 nor more than $500 if the duration  of
23        the  obstruction is in excess of 10 minutes but no longer
24        than 15 minutes.  If  the  duration  of  the  obstruction
25        exceeds  15  minutes  the  violation  shall be a business
26        offense and the following fines shall be imposed:  if the
27        duration of the obstruction is in excess  of  15  minutes
28        but no longer than 20 minutes, the fine shall be $500; if
29        the  duration  of  the  obstruction  is  in  excess of 20
30        minutes but no longer than 25 minutes, the fine shall  be
31        $700;  if the duration of the obstruction is in excess of
32        25 minutes, but no longer than 30 minutes, the fine shall
33        be $900; if the duration of the obstruction is in  excess
34        of  30  minutes  but  no longer than 35 minutes, the fine
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 1        shall be $1,000; if the duration of the obstruction is in
 2        excess of 35 minutes, the fine shall be  $1,000  plus  an
 3        additional  $500  for  each  5  minutes of obstruction in
 4        excess of 25 minutes of obstruction.
 5        (2)  Other Operational Requirements.
 6             (a)  Bell and Whistle-Crossings. Every rail  carrier
 7        shall  cause  a  bell, and a whistle or horn to be placed
 8        and kept on each locomotive, and shall cause the same  to
 9        be  rung  or  sounded  by the engineer or fireman, at the
10        distance of a least 1,320 feet, from the place where  the
11        railroad  crosses  or  intersects any public highway, and
12        shall be kept ringing or sounding until  the  highway  is
13        reached;  provided that at crossings where the Commission
14        shall by order direct, only after a hearing has been held
15        to determine the public is  reasonably  and  sufficiently
16        protected,  the  rail  carrier may be excused from giving
17        warning provided by this paragraph.
18             (a-5)  The requirements of  paragraph  (a)  of  this
19        subsection  (2)  regarding  ringing a bell and sounding a
20        whistle or horn do not apply at a railroad crossing  that
21        has  a  permanently  installed  automated audible warning
22        device  authorized  by  the  Commission   under   Section
23        18c-7402.1  that sounds automatically when an approaching
24        train is at least 1,320 feet from the crossing  and  that
25        keeps  sounding until the lead locomotive has crossed the
26        highway.  The engineer or fireman may ring  the  bell  or
27        sound the whistle or horn at a railroad crossing that has
28        a permanently installed audible warning device.
29             (b)  Speed  Limits.  Each rail carrier shall operate
30        its trains in compliance with speed  limits  set  by  the
31        Commission.   The  Commission  may set train speed limits
32        only where such limits are necessitated by  extraordinary
33        circumstances  effecting  the  public  safety,  and shall
34        maintain such train speed limits in effect only for  such
                            -4-                LRB9114687DHmb
 1        time as the extraordinary circumstances prevail.
 2             The  Commission and the Department of Transportation
 3        shall conduct a  study  of  the  relation  between  train
 4        speeds  and  railroad-highway grade crossing safety.  The
 5        Commission shall report the findings of the study to  the
 6        General Assembly no later than January 5, 1997.
 7             (c)  Special   Speed   Limit;  Pilot  Project.   The
 8        Commission and the Board of the Commuter Rail Division of
 9        the Regional Transportation  Authority  shall  conduct  a
10        pilot project in the Village of Fox River Grove, the site
11        of  the  fatal school bus accident at a railroad crossing
12        on  October  25,  1995,  in  order  to  improve  railroad
13        crossing safety.  For this  project,  the  Commission  is
14        directed  to  set  the  maximum  train  speed  limit  for
15        Regional  Transportation Authority trains at 50 miles per
16        hour at intersections on that portion of  the  intrastate
17        rail  line  located in the Village of Fox River Grove. If
18        the Regional Transportation Authority deliberately  fails
19        to comply with this maximum speed limit, then any entity,
20        governmental  or  otherwise,  that  provides  capital  or
21        operational   funds   to   the   Regional  Transportation
22        Authority shall appropriately reduce  or  eliminate  that
23        funding.  The Commission shall report to the Governor and
24        the General Assembly on the results of this pilot project
25        in January 1999, January  2000,  and  January  2001.  The
26        Commission  shall also submit a final report on the pilot
27        project to the  Governor  and  the  General  Assembly  in
28        January  2001.   The  provisions  of this subsection (c),
29        other than this sentence, are inoperative after  February
30        1, 2001.
31        (3)  Report and Investigation of Rail Accidents.
32             (a)  Reports. Every rail carrier shall report to the
33        Commission,  by  the  speediest  means  possible, whether
34        telephone,  telegraph,  or  otherwise,   every   accident
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 1        involving  its  equipment, track, or other property which
 2        resulted in loss of life to  any  person.   In  addition,
 3        such  carriers  shall  file  a  written  report  with the
 4        Commission. Reports submitted under this paragraph  shall
 5        be   strictly   confidential,   shall   be   specifically
 6        prohibited  from disclosure,  and shall not be admissible
 7        in any administrative or judicial proceeding relating  to
 8        the accidents reported.
 9             (b)  Investigations.  The Commission may investigate
10        all railroad accidents reported to  it  or  of  which  it
11        acquires  knowledge  independent  of reports made by rail
12        carriers, and  shall  have  the  power,  consistent  with
13        standards  and  procedures  established under the Federal
14        Railroad Safety Act, as amended, to enter such  temporary
15        orders  as  will  minimize  the  risk of future accidents
16        pending  notice,  hearing,  and  final  action   by   the
17        Commission.
18    (Source: P.A. 90-187, eff. 1-1-98; 91-675, eff. 6-1-00.)

19        (625 ILCS 5/18c-7402.1 new)
20        Sec.   18c-7402.1.   Pilot  projects;  automated  audible
21    warning devices.
22        (a)  The General Assembly finds and  declares  that,  for
23    the communities of the State that are traversed by railroads,
24    there  is a growing need to mitigate train horn noise without
25    compromising the  safety  of  the  public.  Therefore,  after
26    applications  are  filed  and approved by the Commission, the
27    Commission shall authorize pilot projects in the counties  of
28    Cook,  DuPage,  Lake, and Will to test the utility and safety
29    of  stationary  automated  audible  warning  devices  as   an
30    alternative  to  trains  having  to sound their horns as they
31    approach highway-rail crossings.
32        (b)  In light of  the  pending  proposed  ruling  by  the
33    Federal  Railroad  Administration  on  the  use of locomotive
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 1    horns at all highway-rail crossings across the nation, it  is
 2    in  the  best  interest  of  the  State for the Commission to
 3    expedite the pilot projects in order to  contribute  data  to
 4    the   federal   rulemaking  process  regarding  the  possible
 5    inclusion of stationary  automated  warning  devices  in  the
 6    counties  of Cook, DuPage, Lake, and Will as a safety measure
 7    option to the proposed federal rule.
 8        (c)  The Commission shall adopt  rules  for  implementing
 9    the pilot projects in the counties of Cook, DuPage, Lake, and
10    Will.

11        Section  99.  Effective date.  This Act takes effect upon
12    becoming law.

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