State of Illinois
92nd General Assembly

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 1        AN ACT in relation to vehicles.

 2        Be  it  enacted  by  the People of the State of Illinois,
 3    represented in the General Assembly:

 4        Section 5.  The  Illinois  Vehicle  Code  is  amended  by
 5    changing Section 18c-7401 as follows:

 6        (625 ILCS 5/18c-7401) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 18c-7401)
 7        Sec.    18c-7401.    Safety   Requirements   for   Track,
 8    Facilities, and Equipment.
 9        (1)  General  Requirements.  Each  rail  carrier   shall,
10    consistent with rules, orders, and regulations of the Federal
11    Railroad Administration, construct, maintain, and operate all
12    of  its equipment, track, and other property in this State in
13    such a manner as to pose no undue risk to  its  employees  or
14    the person or property of any member of the public.
15        (2)  Adoption  of  Federal  Standards.  The  track safety
16    standards and accident/incident standards promulgated by  the
17    Federal  Railroad Administration shall be safety standards of
18    the Commission.  The Commission may, in  addition,  adopt  by
19    reference  in  its  regulations other federal railroad safety
20    standards,  whether  contained  in  federal  statutes  or  in
21    regulations adopted pursuant to such statutes.
22        (3)  Railroad Crossings.  No  public  road,  highway,  or
23    street shall hereafter be constructed across the track of any
24    rail  carrier  at  grade,  nor  shall  the  track of any rail
25    carrier be constructed  across  a  public  road,  highway  or
26    street  at grade, without having first secured the permission
27    of the Commission; provided,  that  this  Section  shall  not
28    apply to the replacement of lawfully existing roads, highways
29    and  tracks.  No  public pedestrian bridge or subway shall be
30    constructed across the track  of  any  rail  carrier  without
31    having  first secured the permission of the Commission.   The
                            -2-                LRB9212559DHcs
 1    Commission shall have the right to refuse its  permission  or
 2    to  grant  it  upon  such  terms  and  conditions  as  it may
 3    prescribe.  The Commission shall have power to determine  and
 4    prescribe  the  manner,  including  the  particular  point of
 5    crossing,  and  the   terms   of   installation,   operation,
 6    maintenance, use and protection of each such crossing.
 7        The Commission shall also have power, after a hearing, to
 8    require  major  alteration  of  or  to  abolish any crossing,
 9    heretofore or hereafter established, when in its opinion, the
10    public safety requires such  alteration  or  abolition,  and,
11    except   in   cities,  villages  and  incorporated  towns  of
12    1,000,000 or more inhabitants, to vacate and close that  part
13    of  the  highway  on  such  crossing altered or abolished and
14    cause barricades to be erected across such  highway  in  such
15    manner  as  to prevent the use of such crossing as a highway,
16    when,  in  the  opinion  of  the   Commission,   the   public
17    convenience served by the crossing in question is not such as
18    to  justify  the  further  retention thereof; or to require a
19    separation of grades, at railroad-highway grade crossings; or
20    to require a separation of grades at  any  proposed  crossing
21    where  a  proposed public highway may cross the tracks of any
22    rail carrier or carriers; and to prescribe, after  a  hearing
23    of  the  parties, the terms upon which such separations shall
24    be made and the  proportion  in  which  the  expense  of  the
25    alteration  or  abolition of such crossings or the separation
26    of such grades,  having  regard  to  the  benefits,  if  any,
27    accruing  to the rail carrier or any party in interest, shall
28    be divided between the rail carrier or carriers affected,  or
29    between  such  carrier  or  carriers  and  the State, county,
30    municipality or other public authority in interest.  However,
31    a public hearing by the  Commission  to  abolish  a  crossing
32    shall  not  be  required when the public highway authority in
33    interest vacates the highway.   In  such  instance  the  rail
34    carrier,  following  notification  to  the Commission and the
                            -3-                LRB9212559DHcs
 1    highway authority, shall remove any  grade  crossing  warning
 2    devices and the grade crossing surface.
 3        The  Commission  shall  also  have  power by its order to
 4    require   the   reconstruction,   minor   alteration,   minor
 5    relocation or improvement  of  any  crossing  (including  the
 6    necessary  highway approaches thereto) of any railroad across
 7    any highway or public road, pedestrian bridge, or  pedestrian
 8    subway,  whether  such  crossing  be  at grade or by overhead
 9    structure or by subway, whenever the Commission finds after a
10    hearing or without a hearing as otherwise  provided  in  this
11    paragraph that such reconstruction, alteration, relocation or
12    improvement is necessary to preserve or promote the safety or
13    convenience  of  the public or of the employees or passengers
14    of such rail carrier or carriers.  By its original  order  or
15    supplemental  orders  in such case, the Commission may direct
16    such reconstruction, alteration, relocation,  or  improvement
17    to  be made in such manner and upon such terms and conditions
18    as may be reasonable and necessary and may apportion the cost
19    of such reconstruction, alteration, relocation or improvement
20    and the subsequent maintenance thereof, having regard to  the
21    benefits,  if  any,  accruing to the railroad or any party in
22    interest, between the rail carrier  or  carriers  and  public
23    utilities  affected,  or between such carrier or carriers and
24    public utilities and the State, county, municipality or other
25    public authority in interest.  The cost to be so  apportioned
26    shall  include  the  cost  of  changes  or alterations in the
27    equipment of public utilities affected as well as the cost of
28    the relocation, diversion  or  establishment  of  any  public
29    highway,  made  necessary by such reconstruction, alteration,
30    relocation or improvement of said crossing.  A hearing  shall
31    not be required in those instances when the Commission enters
32    an  order  confirming  a  written  stipulation  in  which the
33    Commission, the public  highway  authority  or  other  public
34    authority in interest, the rail carrier or carriers affected,
                            -4-                LRB9212559DHcs
 1    and  in  instances  involving  the  use of the Grade Crossing
 2    Protection Fund, the Illinois Department  of  Transportation,
 3    agree  on  the  reconstruction,  alteration,  relocation,  or
 4    improvement  and  the  subsequent maintenance thereof and the
 5    division of costs of  such  changes  of  any  grade  crossing
 6    (including  the  necessary highway approaches thereto) of any
 7    railroad across any highway, pedestrian bridge, or pedestrian
 8    subway.
 9        Every rail carrier operating in  the  State  of  Illinois
10    shall  construct and maintain every highway crossing over its
11    tracks  within  the  State  so  that  the  roadway   at   the
12    intersection   shall   be   as   flush   with  the  rails  as
13    superelevated  curves  will  allow,  and,  unless   otherwise
14    ordered  by  the Commission, shall construct and maintain the
15    approaches thereto at a grade of not more than 5% within  the
16    right  of  way  for a distance of not less the 6 feet on each
17    side of the centerline of such  tracks;  provided,  that  the
18    grades  at  the  approaches may be maintained in excess of 5%
19    only when authorized by the Commission.
20        Every rail carrier  operating  within  this  State  shall
21    remove  from  its  right of way at all railroad-highway grade
22    crossings within the State, such brush, shrubbery, and  trees
23    as  is  reasonably  practical for a distance of not less than
24    500 feet in either direction from each  grade  crossing.  The
25    Commission  shall  have  power,  upon its own motion, or upon
26    complaint, and after having  made  proper  investigation,  to
27    require the installation of adequate and appropriate luminous
28    reflective warning signs, luminous flashing signals, crossing
29    gates  illuminated  at  night, or other protective devices in
30    order to promote and safeguard the health and safety  of  the
31    public.  Luminous  flashing  signal  or crossing gate devices
32    installed at grade crossings, which have been approved by the
33    Commission, shall be deemed  adequate  and  appropriate.  The
34    Commission  shall  have  authority  to  determine the number,
                            -5-                LRB9212559DHcs
 1    type, and location of such signs, signals,  gates,  or  other
 2    protective  devices  which, however, shall conform as near as
 3    may be with generally recognized national standards, and  the
 4    Commission  shall have authority to prescribe the division of
 5    the cost of the installation and  subsequent  maintenance  of
 6    such  signs,  signals,  gates,  or  other protective devices,
 7    including temporary stop signs, between the rail  carrier  or
 8    carriers,  the  public  highway  authority  or  other  public
 9    authority  in interest, and in instances involving the use of
10    the Grade Crossing Protection Fund, the  Illinois  Department
11    of   Transportation.   If  the  Commission  has  ordered  the
12    installation of luminous flashing  signal  or  crossing  gate
13    devices  at  a grade crossing, the Commission shall order the
14    installation  of  temporary  stop  signs   at   the   highway
15    intersection  with  the  grade  crossing.  The temporary stop
16    signs shall remain  in  place  until  the  luminous  flashing
17    signal or crossing gate devices have been installed.
18        No  railroad  may  change  or  modify  the warning device
19    system  at  a  railroad-highway  grade  crossing,   including
20    warning  systems  interconnected with highway traffic control
21    signals, without having first received the  approval  of  the
22    Commission.   The  Commission  shall  have the further power,
23    upon application, upon its own motion, or upon complaint  and
24    after  having  made  proper  investigation,  to  require  the
25    interconnection   of  grade  crossing  warning  devices  with
26    traffic control signals at highway intersections  located  at
27    or  near railroad crossings within the distances described by
28    the State Manual on Uniform Traffic Control  Devices  adopted
29    pursuant  to Section 11-301 of this Code.  In addition, State
30    and local authorities may not install, remove, modernize,  or
31    otherwise   modify  traffic  control  signals  at  a  highway
32    intersection  that  is  interconnected  or  proposed  to   be
33    interconnected  with  grade crossing warning devices when the
34    change affects the  number,  type,  or  location  of  traffic
                            -6-                LRB9212559DHcs
 1    control  devices  on  the  track  approach leg or legs of the
 2    intersection  or  the  timing  of  the  railroad   preemption
 3    sequence  of  operation until the Commission has approved the
 4    installation,  removal,   modernization,   or   modification.
 5    Commission  approval  shall  be  limited  to consideration of
 6    issues  directly  affecting  the   public   safety   at   the
 7    railroad-highway  grade  crossing.   The  electrical  circuit
 8    devices,  alternate warning devices, and preemption sequences
 9    shall  conform  as  nearly  as  possible,   considering   the
10    particular  characteristics  of the crossing and intersection
11    area, to the State manual adopted by the Illinois  Department
12    of Transportation pursuant to Section 11-301 of this Code and
13    such  federal  standards as are made applicable by subsection
14    (2) of this Section.  In order to carry out  this  authority,
15    the  Commission  shall  have  the  authority to determine the
16    number, type, and location of traffic control devices on  the
17    track approach leg or legs of the intersection and the timing
18    of  the  railroad  preemption   sequence  of  operation.  The
19    Commission   shall   prescribe  the  division  of  costs  for
20    installation and maintenance of all devices required by  this
21    paragraph  between  the railroad or railroads and the highway
22    authority in interest and in instances involving the  use  of
23    the  Grade  Crossing  Protection Fund or a State highway, the
24    Illinois Department of Transportation.
25        Any person who unlawfully or maliciously removes,  throws
26    down,  damages  or  defaces  any  sign, signal, gate or other
27    protective device,  located  at  or  near  any  public  grade
28    crossing,  shall  be  guilty of a petty offense and fined not
29    less than $50 nor  more  than  $200  for  each  offense.   In
30    addition to fines levied under the provisions of this Section
31    a  person  adjudged  guilty hereunder may also be directed to
32    make restitution for the costs of repair or  replacement,  or
33    both, necessitated by his misconduct.
34        It  is  the  public  policy  of  the State of Illinois to
                            -7-                LRB9212559DHcs
 1    enhance public safety by establishing safe  grade  crossings.
 2    In  order  to  implement  this  policy, the Illinois Commerce
 3    Commission is directed to  conduct  public  hearings  and  to
 4    adopt  specific  criteria  by  July  1,  1994,  that shall be
 5    adhered to by the Illinois Commerce Commission in determining
 6    if a grade crossing  should  be  opened  or  abolished.   The
 7    following   factors  shall  be  considered  by  the  Illinois
 8    Commerce Commission in developing the specific  criteria  for
 9    opening and abolishing grade crossings:
10             (a)  timetable speed of passenger trains;
11             (b)  distance to an alternate crossing;
12             (c)  accident history for the last 5 years;
13             (d)  number  of  vehicular  traffic and posted speed
14        limits;
15             (e)  number of freight trains  and  their  timetable
16        speeds;
17             (f)  the type of warning device present at the grade
18        crossing;
19             (g)  alignments of the roadway and railroad, and the
20        angle of intersection of those alignments;
21             (h)  use  of  the  grade crossing by trucks carrying
22        hazardous materials,  vehicles  carrying  passengers  for
23        hire, and school buses; and
24             (i)  use   of   the   grade  crossing  by  emergency
25        vehicles.
26        The Illinois Commerce Commission, upon petition  to  open
27    or  abolish a grade crossing, shall enter an order opening or
28    abolishing the crossing if it  meets  the  specific  criteria
29    adopted by the Commission.
30        Except  as  otherwise provided in this subsection (3), in
31    no instance shall a  grade  crossing  be  permanently  closed
32    without  public  hearing  first being held and notice of such
33    hearing being published in an area newspaper of local general
34    circulation.
                            -8-                LRB9212559DHcs
 1        (4)  Freight   Trains   -   Radio   Communications.   The
 2    Commission shall after hearing and order require  that  every
 3    main  line  railroad  freight  train operating on main tracks
 4    outside of yard limits within this State  shall  be  equipped
 5    with  a  radio  communication  system.   The Commission after
 6    notice and hearing may grant exemptions from the requirements
 7    of this Section as to secondary and branch lines.
 8        (5)  Railroad  Bridges  and  Trestles   -   Walkway   and
 9    Handrail.  In cases in which the Commission finds the same to
10    be practical and necessary for safety of railroad  employees,
11    bridges and trestles, over and upon which railroad trains are
12    operated,  shall  include  as  a  part  thereof,  a  safe and
13    suitable walkway and handrail on one side only of such bridge
14    or trestle, and such handrail shall be located at  the  outer
15    edge of the walkway and shall provide a clearance of not less
16    than  8  feet,  6 inches, from the center line of the nearest
17    track, measured at right angles thereto.
18        (6)  Packages  Containing  Articles  for  First  Aid   to
19    Injured  on Trains. All rail carriers shall provide a package
20    containing the articles prescribed by the Commission, on each
21    train or engine, for first aid to persons who may be  injured
22    in the course of the operation of such trains.
23        (7)  Abandoned  Bridges, Crossings, and Other Rail Plant.
24    The  Commission  shall  have  authority,  after  notice   and
25    hearing, to order:
26             (a)  The  removal  of  any abandoned railroad tracks
27        from roads, streets or other thoroughfares in this State;
28        and
29             (b)  The  removal  of  abandoned  overhead  railroad
30        structures crossing highways, waterways, or railroads.
31        The Commission may equitably apportion the cost  of  such
32    actions   between   the  rail  carrier  or  carriers,  public
33    utilities, and the  State,  county,  municipality,  township,
34    road district, or other public authority in interest.
                            -9-                LRB9212559DHcs
 1        (8)  Railroad-Highway   Bridge   Clearance.   A  vertical
 2    clearance of not less than 23 feet  above  the  top  of  rail
 3    shall  be  provided  for  all  new  or  reconstructed highway
 4    bridges constructed over a railroad  track.   The  Commission
 5    may  permit  a  lesser clearance if it determines that the 23
 6    foot  clearance  standard  cannot  be  justified   based   on
 7    engineering, operational, and economic conditions.
 8    (Source: P.A. 90-691, eff. 1-1-99; 91-725, eff. 6-2-00.)

 9        Section  99.  Effective date.  This Act takes effect upon
10    becoming law.

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