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AB-695 Avoidance of on-track equipment.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 07/25/2017 09:00 PM
AB695:v97#DOCUMENT

Assembly Bill No. 695
CHAPTER 110

An act to amend Sections 22451 and 22452 of the Vehicle Code, relating to railroad crossings.

[ Approved by Governor  July 24, 2017. Filed with Secretary of State  July 24, 2017. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 695, Bocanegra. Avoidance of on-track equipment.
(1) Existing law requires the driver of a vehicle or pedestrian to cross a railroad, a rail transit grade crossing, or a railroad grade crossing in a specified manner to safely avoid a train or car. A violation of these requirements is a crime.
This bill would make this requirement applicable to avoid on-track equipment, as defined. By expanding the scope of a crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
(2) The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 22451 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:

22451.
 (a) The driver of any vehicle or pedestrian approaching a railroad or rail transit grade crossing shall stop not less than 15 feet from the nearest rail and shall not proceed until he or she can do so safely, whenever the following conditions exist:
(1) A clearly visible electric or mechanical signal device or a flagman gives warning of the approach or passage of a train, car, or on-track equipment.
(2) An approaching train, car, or on-track equipment is plainly visible or is emitting an audible signal and, by reason of its speed or nearness, is an immediate hazard.
(b) No driver or pedestrian shall proceed through, around, or under any railroad or rail transit crossing gate while the gate is closed.
(c) Whenever a railroad or rail transit crossing is equipped with an automated enforcement system, a notice of a violation of this section is subject to the procedures provided in Section 40518.
(d) For purposes of this section, “on-track equipment” means any locomotive or any other car, rolling stock, equipment, or other device that, alone or coupled to others, is operated on stationary rails.

SEC. 2.

 Section 22452 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:

22452.
 (a) Subdivisions (b) and (d) apply to the operation of the following vehicles:
(1) A bus or farm labor vehicle carrying passengers.
(2) A motortruck transporting employees in addition to those riding in the cab.
(3) A schoolbus and a school pupil activity bus transporting school pupils, except as otherwise provided in paragraph (4) of subdivision (d).
(4) A commercial motor vehicle transporting any quantity of a Division 2.3 chlorine, as classified by Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
(5) A commercial motor vehicle that is required to be marked or placarded in accordance with the regulations of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations with one of the following federal classifications:
(A) Division 1.1.
(B) Division 1.2, or Division 1.3.
(C) Division 2.3 Poison gas.
(D) Division 4.3.
(E) Class 7.
(F) Class 3 Flammable.
(G) Division 5.1.
(H) Division 2.2.
(I) Division 2.3 Chlorine.
(J) Division 6.1 Poison.
(K) Division 2.2 Oxygen.
(L) Division 2.1.
(M) Class 3 Combustible liquid.
(N) Division 4.1.
(O) Division 5.1.
(P) Division 5.2.
(Q) Class 8.
(R) Class Division 1.4.
(S) A cargo tank motor vehicle, whether loaded or empty, used for the transportation of a hazardous material, as defined in Parts 107 to 180, inclusive, of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
(6) A cargo tank motor vehicle transporting a commodity that at the time of loading has a temperature above its flashpoint, as determined under Section 173.120 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
(7) A cargo tank motor vehicle, whether loaded or empty, transporting a commodity under exemption in accordance with Subpart B of Part 107 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
(b) Before traversing a railroad grade crossing, the driver of a vehicle described in subdivision (a) shall stop that vehicle not less than 15 nor more than 50 feet from the nearest rail of the track and while so stopped shall listen, and look in both directions along the track, for an approaching train or on-track equipment and for signals indicating the approach of a train or on-track equipment, and shall not proceed until he or she can do so safely. Upon proceeding, the gears shall not be shifted manually while crossing the tracks.
(c) The driver of a commercial motor vehicle, other than those listed in subdivision (a), upon approaching a railroad grade crossing, shall be driven at a rate of speed that allows the commercial vehicle to stop before reaching the nearest rail of that crossing, and shall not be driven upon, or over, the crossing until due caution is taken to ascertain that the course is clear.
(d) A stop need not be made at a crossing in the following circumstances:
(1) Of railroad tracks running along and upon the roadway within a business or residence district.
(2) Where a traffic officer or an official traffic control signal directs traffic to proceed.
(3) Where an exempt sign was authorized by the Public Utilities Commission prior to January 1, 1978.
(4) Where an official railroad crossing stop exempt sign in compliance with Section 21400 has been placed by the Department of Transportation or a local authority pursuant to Section 22452.5. This paragraph does not apply with respect to a schoolbus or to a school pupil activity bus transporting school pupils.
(e) For purposes of this section, “on-track equipment” means any locomotive or any other car, rolling stock, equipment, or other device that, alone or coupled to others, is operated on stationary rails.

SEC. 3.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.