How it works: New state law restricts rail-related crossings to reduce injuries, death

Texas has tightened its rail-crossing laws after ranking second in the nation for rail-related pedestrian fatalities and injuries in 2018.

The ranking comes from the Federal Railroad Administration, which found 1,050 rail-related casualties nation-wide in 2018. Texas accounted for 82 of those, the data showed. That total was broken down into 36 fatalities and 46 injuries, the data showed.

Texas House Bill 2775 prohibits pedestrians at rail crossings from passing in front of, under, between or through the rail cars of moving and stationary trains. The bill went into effect Sept. 1.

The state had no previous rail-crossing laws for pedestrians, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. State Rep. Matt Krause, R-Fort Worth, authored the bill, and state Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, was a sponsor.

More information on transportation-related bills passed during the 86th Legislature have been published in TxDOT’s legislative summary, which is available on the agency’s website.
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