Public Act 101-0294
SB0024 EnrolledLRB101 04864 TAE 49873 b
AN ACT concerning transportation.
Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:
Section 1. Policy; findings. It is the public policy of the
State of Illinois to enhance public safety by establishing a
minimum freight train operating crew size to address the
transportation of all freight, including, but not limited to,
hazardous and volatile materials, on the railroads of Illinois.
The transportation of this freight, coupled with substantially
longer trains, creates significant health, safety, and
security concerns for local communities. Adequate railroad
operating personnel are critical to ensuring railroad
operational safety and security and in supporting first
responder activities in the event of a hazardous material
incident, grade crossing incident, or mechanical failure.
Section 5. The Illinois Vehicle Code is amended by changing
Section 18c-7402 as follows:
(625 ILCS 5/18c-7402) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 18c-7402)
Sec. 18c-7402. Safety requirements for railroad
(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
(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
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
(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 accident 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,
(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.
(Source: P.A. 100-201, eff. 8-18-17.)