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(123rd General Assembly)(Amended House Bill Number 607)
To amend section 4955.32 and to enact section 4955.321 of the
Revised Code to allow the use of an alternative audible warning
system signaling the approach of a locomotive engine, subject to
approval by the Public Utilities Commission.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Ohio:
SECTION 1 . That section 4955.32 be amended and section 4955.321
of the Revised Code be enacted to read as follows:
Sec. 4955.32. (A) Every company shall attach to each locomotive
upon its railroad a bell of the ordinary size in use on such
engines and a
steam or compressed air whistle.
(B) When an engine in motion and
turnpike, highway, or street crossing or private crossing where
the view of
such crossing is obstructed by embankment, trees, curve, or other
to view, upon the same line with the crossing, and in like manner
railroad crosses any other traveled place, by bridge or
the either of the following shall occur:
(1) The engineer
or person in charge of such engine shall sound such whistle at a
distance of at
least eighty and not further than one hundred rods from such
crossing and ring
such bell continuously until the engine passes the crossing;
(2) An alternative audible warning system approved by the public utilities
commission under section 4955.321 of the Revised Code shall
be activated in accordance with guidelines established by the public utilities
(C) This section
shall not interfere with the proper observance of an ordinance
passed by the
legislative authority of a municipal corporation regulating the
railroads, locomotives, and steam whistles on locomotives, within
the limits of
such municipal corporation.
(D) The establishment of an alternative audible warning system
does not preclude the sounding of a whistle by an engineer or other person in
charge of an engine in an emergency situation, as determined by the sole
judgment of the engineer or other person.
Sec. 4955.321. The public utilities commission may evaluate
alternative systems for providing an audible warning of an approaching
locomotive engine. The commission may approve the use of an
audible warning system as an alternative to the whistle and bell
required under division (B)(1) of section 4955.32 of the
Code only if it determines that the alternative audible warning
system complies with applicable federal requirements for an audible warning of
approaching train and only if train-activated warning devices also are present
at any crossing at which the alternative audible warning system is installed.
The commission shall establish guidelines for
the use and operation of any alternative audible warning system it
SECTION 2 . That existing section 4955.32 of the Revised Code is