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Reps. Grim, Hoops Introduce Bipartisan Bill Requiring Drivers to Stop, Look and Listen at Railroad Crossings

January 4, 2024
Michele Grim News

COLUMBUS – State Reps. Michele Grim (D-Toledo) and Jim Hoops (R-Napoleon) today announced the introduction of House Bill (HB) 372, bipartisan legislation that requires operators of motor vehicles to stop, look, and listen for on-track equipment when approaching railroad crossings.

“The rail industry is invaluable for labor development and Ohio’s economic growth. This common-sense, bipartisan bill will protect pedestrians and rail workers alike. Providing the opportunity for drivers to learn, rather than simply pay a fine and move on represents a true opportunity for growth and deeper understanding of the importance of rail safety in our state. I am proud to joint-sponsor this bill with another longtime supporter of our railways, Rep. Hoops,” said Rep. Grim.

This legislation would maintain a penalty for those who fail to stop at an active railroad crossing of a fourth-degree misdemeanor.

“We are already aware of the dangers of crossing the tracks in front of a train. This legislation aims to raise awareness about the dangers of crossing tracks in front of heavy equipment used for track repair. The intent of this legislation is not to put a message out there that ‘we are going to get you,’ but is intended to be a proactive measure to ensure safety. I am looking forward to working with Rep. Grim on this very important safety issue,” said Rep. Hoops.

HB 372 will allow offenders to attend a remedial safety training provided by an authorized organization of the court’s choosing, in lieu of a punitive fine or jail term. The training must be completed in a time specified by the court but cannot exceed 180 days after the training is ordered. Once the remedial safety training has been completed the court will waive any associated fine or jail term.

The legislation awaits assignment to a House Committee.