Crossing Treatment Procedures
State Laws and Regulations
- 62-301. Crossings of state highways and railroads–Elimination or alteration–Cost
Whenever a state highway crosses or shall hereafter cross one or more railroads, and whenever the Idaho transportation department shall determine that the elimination of a grade crossing, whether by separation of grades or by relocation of the highway or railroad or both, or the reconstruction of an existing structure under or over the railroad or railroads, is necessary for public safety and convenience or for the proper construction or reconstruction of said state highway, the said Idaho transportation department shall have full authority to negotiate with and enter into an agreement with the railroad company or companies, and with any other persons and authorities concerned, to provide for the method of elimination or alteration and for the division of the cost thereof between the state and the railroad company or companies and any other parties to such agreement, such cost to include all changes of highway or railroads made necessary by the existence of the crossing and by the elimination or alteration thereof, and the acquisition of any right of way required therefor.
Idaho Code Ann. § 62-301
- 62-304. Hearing and order by public utilities commission
Whenever a complaint is made to the public utilities commission by the Idaho transportation department, or by a railroad company or companies, or upon motion by the Idaho public utilities commission, or local authorities in their respective jurisdictions with respect to the elimination or alteration of a crossing of a highway with one or more railroads the said commission shall and is hereby authorized and empowered to hear and determine such complaint in accordance with the provisions of chapters 1 to 7, inclusive, title 61, Idaho Code, taking into consideration the necessity for such elimination or alteration and the cost thereof, the location of any crossing and the manner in which it shall be constructed or reconstructed and maintained, or whether a crossing is to be eliminated and the provisions therefor, and shall make such order in relation thereto as shall be equitable, and shall determine what portion of the cost shall be paid by any party to the controversy: provided, that no cost shall be charged to the Idaho public utilities commission, and that no portion of the cost of eliminating or altering a crossing not on a state highway shall be ordered to be paid out of the state highway fund.
Idaho Code Ann. § 62-304
- 62-303. Crossings not on state highways–Elimination or alteration
Whenever a highway not a state highway crosses one or more railroads, the local authorities in their respective jurisdictions, or railroad company or companies, shall have the same authority and perform the same duties with respect to the elimination or alteration of such crossing as are granted to and required of the Idaho transportation department and railroad company or companies by this chapter.
Idaho Code Ann. § 62-303
- 62-305. Closing and abandonment of crossings upon relocation of highways or construction of underpasses or overpasses or otherwise–Hearings
Wherever and whenever the location of any state highway, or other public street, road or highway, has been or shall be changed, the result of which has changed or will change the location of the place where such street, road or highway crosses any railroad tracks at grade, and a new crossing at grade or an overpass or underpass has been or shall be constructed at such new location, or whenever the closing and abandonment of an existing crossing is in the interest of and reasonably necessary for the public safety, or an existing crossing is no longer reasonably necessary as a public crossing for any reason, then the old grade crossing shall be deemed to be unnecessary and may be eliminated and discontinued. In the event any objection be made to the elimination and discontinuance of said old grade crossing, the Idaho transportation board or the owners, operators, or lessees of any such railroad, or both, may, upon the completion and placing in operation of said new grade crossing, overpass or underpass, or whenever for any other reason a crossing is to be closed and abandoned, the public authority having jurisdiction over the street, road or highway, or the owners, operators, or lessees of any such railroad, or both, shall petition the public utilities commission for an order eliminating and discontinuing said old grade crossing, whether said change of location has been made or construction of an underpass or overpass completed before or after the passage of this act, and said commission shall be and is hereby authorized and empowered to hear and determine said petition in accordance with the provisions of chapters 1 to 7, inclusive, title 61, Idaho Code, and if upon hearing duly had it shall find and determine that the closing and abandonment of such grade crossing is in the interest of, and reasonably necessary for the public safety, or that said crossing is no longer reasonably needed, it shall make an order authorizing the closing and abandonment of said crossing. Any order made by the commission concerning said matter shall be enforceable and subject to review in the same manner as other orders of the commission. Upon any order of closing and abandonment becoming final, said grade crossing may be closed either by the public authority having jurisdiction over the street, road or highway or by the owner, operator or lessee of such railroad.
Idaho Code Ann. § 62-305
- 62-307. Permission for new crossing of highways and railroads
No new railroad and no alteration or extension of an existing railroad shall hereafter cross any highway at grade, and no new highway shall hereafter cross any railroad at grade without the written permission of the Idaho transportation board first having been obtained. Neither a side track, team track, passing track nor house track shall be deemed a railroad within the meaning of this section. The term highway as used in this section shall not include streets and alleys in cities.
Idaho Code Ann. § 62-307
State Laws, Regulations, and Penalties
- 49-1425. Railroad trains not to unnecessarily block crossings
No person or government agency shall operate any train in a manner as to prevent vehicular use of any highway for a period of time in excess of fifteen (15) consecutive minutes except:
(1) When necessary to comply with signals affecting the safety of the movement of trains;
(2) When necessary to avoid striking any object or person on the track;
(3) When the train is stopped to comply with a governmental safety regulation;
(4) When the train is disabled;
(5) When the train is in motion except while engaged in switching operations;
(6) When there is no vehicular traffic waiting to use the crossing.
Idaho Code Ann. § 49-1425
State Laws and Regulations
No applicable statute related to this topic.
Warning Devices- Train Borne
State Laws, Regulations, and Penalties
- 62-421. Equipment of track motor cars with specified electric lights
Every individual, firm or corporation, operating or controlling any railroad which is a common carrier shall equip each of its track motor cars operated during the period thirty (30) minutes before sunset to thirty (30) minutes after sunrise with:
(1) An electric headlight of sufficient candle power to enable the operator of the car to plainly discern any track obstruction, landmark, warning sign or grade crossing at a distance not less than [three hundred (]300[)] feet.
(2) A red rear electric light of sufficient candle power to be plainly visible at a distance not less than [three hundred (]300[)] feet.
Idaho Code Ann. § 62-421
- 62-412. Bell or whistle
The operator of a train or locomotive is not required to sound the locomotive’s bell, horn or whistle when approaching any location at which the railroad crosses a private highway, private road or private street at grade.
Idaho Code Ann. § 62-412
Warning Devices- Active
State Laws and Regulations
- 62-304A. Creation of railroad grade crossing protection fund
In order to promote the public safety at railroad grade crossings and public streets, roads or highways and to provide for the payment of all or part of the costs of installing, reconstructing, maintaining or improving automatic or other safety appliances, signals or devices at railroad grade crossings of public streets, roads or highways over the tracks of any railroad company or companies, or to support public education and safety programs which promote awareness of public safety at railroad grade crossings of public streets, roads or highways, there is hereby created in the dedicated fund in the state treasury a fund to be known as the railroad grade crossing protection fund.
Idaho Code Ann. § 62-304A
- 62-304B. Administration of the railroad grade crossing protection account
Subject to the provisions of section 62-304, Idaho Code, the Idaho transportation department is charged with sole and exclusive administration of the railroad grade crossing protection account.
Idaho Code Ann. § 62-304B
- 62-304C. Apportionment of costs
The Idaho transportation department shall follow federal guidelines on such grade crossing improvement projects as are to be funded in whole or in part under any federal act, and where the project is not funded entirely by federal funds, the Idaho transportation department may use moneys in the railroad grade crossing protection fund to pay all or a portion of the matching funds required.
On projects where federal-aid funds are not being utilized in whole or in part, the Idaho transportation department shall apportion the entire cost of the engineering, installation, reconstruction or improvement of any signal or device as described in section 62-304A, Idaho Code, between the railroad company or companies and the Idaho transportation department or the local authority, in proportion to the respective benefits to be derived. The Idaho transportation department may use moneys in the railroad grade crossing protection fund to pay all or a portion of the cost apportioned to the Idaho transportation department or local authority involved.
The railroad company or companies owning the track or tracks upon which the improvement shall be made shall perform all construction and maintenance of the signals or devices and shall be reimbursed for such part of said costs not to be borne by it, but in allocating said costs and dividing the same among the parties involved, the Idaho transportation department shall limit the amount to be charged against the railroad company or companies to a maximum of ten percent (10%) of the total cost of such construction, unless the crossing is a new one proposed by the railroad company or companies, in which case the entire cost of construction shall be apportioned to said railroad company or companies.
Upon application to the Idaho transportation department, and with the approval of the Idaho transportation board, a maximum of twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) annually may be provided from the railroad grade crossing protection fund to support public education and safety programs which promote awareness of public safety at railroad grade crossings of public streets, roads or highways over the tracks of any railroad company or companies.
Idaho Code Ann. § 62-304C
- 62-304D. Establishing priorities for hazardous railroad locations–Accident reports to be filed with Idaho transportation department
In its administration of the railroad grade crossing protection account, the Idaho transportation department shall establish a priority rating for railroad crossings, assigning priority first to the most hazardous railroad crossing locations, giving proper weight to traffic volume over such crossings by school buses and vehicles transporting dangerous commodities and if the Idaho transportation department determines from all of the evidence that public safety does not require installation of protective signals or devices at a crossing under consideration, it may refuse to order the installation of signals or devices or may defer their installation until more hazardous crossings have been protected. Every railroad company shall file with the Idaho transportation department a copy of each report of accident which is filed with the Idaho public utilities commission pursuant to the provisions of section 61-517, Idaho Code, for the Idaho transportation department to consider in making its determination. No part of any report filed with the Idaho transportation department as required in this section, or of any record, or a copy thereof, of any hearing held under the provisions of this act or of the determination provided for in this section and no finding, conclusion or order made by the Idaho transportation department in the administration of this act shall be used as evidence in any trial, civil or criminal, arising out of an accident at or in the vicinity of any crossing prior to installation of signals or other warning devices pursuant to an order of the Idaho transportation department as a result of any such investigation or proceeding.
Idaho Code Ann. § 62-304D
State Laws and Regulations
No applicable statute relating to this topic.
State Laws, Regulations, and Penalties
- 49-221. Removal of traffic hazards
(1) It shall be the responsibility of the owner of real property to remove from his property any hedge, shrubbery, fence, wall or other sight obstructions of any nature, except public traffic or highway signs, buildings and trees, where these sight obstructions constitute a potential traffic hazard. The above sight obstructions shall not extend more than three (3) feet, or less than ten (10) feet, in height above the existing center line highway elevation within the vision triangle of vehicle operators. The boundaries of the vision triangle are defined by measuring from the intersection of the edges of two (2) adjacent highways forty (40) feet along each highway and connecting the two (2) points with a straight line. The sight distance obstruction restriction is also applicable to railroad-highway grade crossings with vision triangle defined by measuring forty (40) feet along the railroad property line when intersecting with a highway.
(2) When the department or any local authority determines that a traffic hazard exists, it may notify the owner and order that the hazard be removed within an appropriate time as determined by the department or local authority, considering the circumstances and conditions involved. The appropriate time may be specified in the notice. Such notice shall not obligate the department or local authorities to pursue removal or abatement until all legal remedies are exhausted.
(3) The failure of the owner to remove the traffic hazard within the appropriate specified time shall constitute a misdemeanor and every day the owner shall fail to remove the obstruction may be considered a separate and distinct offense. Civil action may also be initiated by state or local officials to enforce vision triangle restrictions.
(4) Local officials may, by resolution or ordinance, establish standards and procedures for protecting vision triangles at the intersections of local streets and roads. Such locally adopted standards or procedures, which may be more or less restrictive than the provisions hereof, shall not modify the standards established by this section concerning intersections with state maintained highways and intersections with railroads.
Idaho Code Ann. § 49-221