Court: Oklahoma rail crossing law violates federal authority

Railroad crossing bar

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A federal appeals court has found that Oklahoma’s 10-minute limit on trains blocking city streets violates the federal government’s authority.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday ruled that only the federal Surface Transportation Board has jurisdiction over rail carrier transportation and track operation.

BNSF Railway Company sued after police in Edmond and Davis cited the company for violating the law that was passed in 2019.

The state argued that the law was a safety issue because the stopped trains had blocked emergency responders such as paramedics and firefighters.

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