Rep. Jessica E. Miranda (D-Forest Park) Tuesday gave sponsor testimony in support of House Bill (H.B.) 361 in front of the Ohio House Transportation and Public Safety Committee. In response to various concerns from constituents, H.B. 361 would increase penalties on railroad companies that unlawfully block intersections.
“At best train stoppages are an inconvenience, and at worst they harm economic development, and sometimes even prevent law enforcement and first responders from getting to where they need to be in an emergency,” said Rep. Miranda. “After learning about these concerns in the #Great28, it’s clear that this legislation is needed to reduce train stoppages that interrupt the flow of our communities.”
Under current Ohio law, a railroad company is subject to a $1,000 fine for blocking a crossing for more than five minutes to the hindrance of those trying to cross. This proposal would increase the fine to $5,000 for a first violation, and $10,000 for any subsequent violation. H.B. 361, joint-sponsored by Rep. Thomas Hall (R-Madison Township), had its first hearing Tuesday and now awaits further action by the committee.