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Soliday bill on railroad crossing views moves ahead

Updated: February 19, 2013 1:55PM



INDIANAPOLIS — INDOT is one step closer to determining what distance of clear view a driver needs at railroad crossings after a bill was approved with an amendment.

The bill would change the 1,500 feet of clear view requirement set by state law, and allow the Indiana Department of Transportation the authority to set the distance.

“It allows INDOT to use scientific methods to designate the proper clear-line sight of view,” said Rep. Ed Soliday, R-Valparaiso. “Whether the same distance is needed for the same railroad is something that people who do this for a living should be doing.”

The bill would allow the department to factors such as train speed or surrounding environment. An amendment would keep civil penalties in place in the current law, including $100 a day with a maximum of $5,000 for violating the clear-sight distance.

Soliday, the author of the bill, explained that a second amendment, where a minimum distance of 250 feet, would not be appropriate.

“It presupposes to INDOT that we have some knowledge that that’s the right number,” he said. “The spirit of the bill is to let the technical people come up with the numbers.”



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