House approves measure to fine trains that are stopped at intersections

OKLAHOMA CITY – A bill designed to put the brakes on stalled trains is moving forward at the Oklahoma State Capitol.

House Speaker Rep. Charles McCall, R-Atoka, recently introduced the measure.

House Bill 2472 would fine railroad companies up to $10,000 if a train is stopped at an intersection for more than 10 minutes. If a train violates the time limit, they could be fined $10,000.

The fines would not apply if the train is stopped due to a mechanical failure, an obstruction on the track, weather and waiting for another train to pass.

“We had a specific incident where the child could not get to the hospital because of the railroad crossing being blocked for a long period of time,” Rep. McCall told KJRH.

McCall says not only is it annoying, but it is also potentially life-threatening if first responders become stuck at a crossing.

On Wednesday, the Oklahoma House of Representatives passed the bill with a vote of 92-5.

“We have heard from emergency medical personnel and from citizens all across this state who have had difficulty providing or receiving care during an emergency by these stopped trains,” said Speaker McCall, R-Atoka. “It is clearly a public safety issue, and I am thankful for my colleagues support on this bill.”

The measure now heads to the Senate for consideration.

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