California Vehicle Code 22451
When approaching a railroad or rail transit crossing, you must be very careful to avoid an accident.
Railroads and rail transit are used throughout California to transport freight and passengers in an affordable, efficient manner. The California Public Utilities Commission is charged with overseeing rail safety throughout the state of California. Drivers must be cautious when approaching a railroad or rail transit grade crossing to ensure the safety of the driver, his or her passengers, and the passengers on the train.
Due to the speed, size, and weight of a train, it cannot stop quickly if a vehicle or pedestrian is on the tracks. CVC Section 22451 sets forth the laws regarding approaching a railroad or rail transit grade crossing. According to CVC Section 22451, a vehicle or pedestrian must stop at least 15 feet from the nearest rail and may not proceed until it is safe to do so if:
- A mechanical or electric signal device or a flagman gives warning that a train or car is approaching, or
- The person can see a train or car approaching or can hear an audible signal by the train or car making it an immediate hazard to cross the rail.
CVC Section 22451 also states that a driver or pedestrian is prohibited from go through, around, or under a railroad or rail transit crossing if the gate is closed. Some crossings are equipped with an automated enforcement system. If you ignore a closed gate at a railroad or rail transit crossing and proceed to go around, under, or through the gate, you will receive a notice of violation under CVC Section 40518.
Any type of incomplete stop can be a violation of California Vehicle Code 22451
As a driver or as a pedestrian, the fine for a California traffic ticket for “Failure To Stop For Railroad Signal” is $490 and one point against your driver’s license.
If you were cited for this violation and would like to learn more about your options, reach out to our legal team for a free citation review.