Trains, planes, and automobiles was a great movie and also something that every driver must be aware of while traveling in California. Railroad crossings are scattered throughout the State of California and it is important that you know how these crossings operate and what is expected of you as a driver when interacting with these intersections.
Railroads and railroad tracks have been used in the country for decades to help move commerce from one side of the country to the next. These systems have stood the test of time and have reinforced their worth to society year after year. Needless to say, the railroads are here to stay. Having railroads in each major city created some unique logistical challenges to ensure everyone is safe and commerce flows without significant resistance. To help ensure safety the Department of Transportation (DOT) has set up crossings at each intersection where a road and a track intertwine.
However, motorists must do their part as well by obeying all California vehicle laws related to rails, trains, and railroad crossings.
Stopping at Railroad Crossings (CVC § 22450 – § 22456)
Pursuant to California Vehicle Code § 22451, drivers or pedestrians must stop at least 15 feet away from the nearest rail when approaching a railroad if a signaling device or flagman gives a warning or the person can see an approaching train or other on-track equipment. Drivers and passengers are prohibited from attempting to circumvent crossing gates or other warning devices when they are engaged.
However, CVC § 22452 provides special provision for all school buses and certain commercial vehicles as they approach a railroad. Buses and certain commercial vehicles listed within the code section must stop at least 15 to 50 feet from the nearest rail of the track. While the vehicle is stopped, the driver must listen carefully and look both ways to ensure a train is not approaching and there are no signals to indicate a train may be approaching. Only after carefully listening and looking both ways may the driver proceed across the railroad tracks.
There are extremely limited (only four) exceptions for requiring bus drivers and some commercial truck drivers to “stop, look, and listen” for a train. If in doubt, it is wise to err on the side of caution and always “stop, look, and listen” before crossing any railroad tracks.
The fine for failing to stop at a railroad under CVC § 22452 is $490 and one point against your license.
Fighting a California Traffic Ticket
If you believe you have been unjustly issued a traffic ticket for failure to stop at a railroad crossing, you need to contact Ticket Snipers. You may have a valid defense to your traffic tickets that could result in a dismissal of the ticket. For instance, your commercial vehicle is not on the list of vehicles that must “stop, look, and listen” before proceeding across the tracks. The railroad tracks in question are exempted from the requirement.
Before you pay a $490 fine and have one point added to your driver’s license, it is worth your time to discuss your case with one of our traffic ticket experts. We offer a free case review so what do you have to lose? When you consider our refund policy, you really do not have anything to lose but may be able to keep the $490 in your pocket instead of giving it to the court.
Before you plead guilty to a traffic ticket, call our office now to discuss your California traffic ticket with Ticket Snipers for free!