Ohio Revised Code 4955.36 (eff. 11/24/67)

Every railroad company is required to destroy or remove plants, trees, brush, or other obstructive vegetation upon its right-of-way at each intersection with a public road or highway, for a distance of six hundred feet or a reasonably safe distance from the roadway of the public road as shall be determined by the Public Utilities Commission.

Whenever any railroad fails to destroy or remove such vegetation after 10 day written notice served on its local agent, the Commission, Board of County Commissioners, Board of Township Trustees, or legislative authority of a municipal corporation, in which the intersection is located, having the care of such road or highway, shall remove such plants, trees, brush, or other obstructive vegetation and shall recover the cost of removal from the responsible railroad company.

If the railroad company fails to pay the amount demanded with 30 days after notification by certified mail, the Commission, Board of County Commissioners, Board of Township Trustees, or legislative authority of a municipal corporation shall certify the amount demanded to the county auditor to be collected as other taxes and assessments and upon collection shall be credited to the general fund of the public body causing the work to be performed.

Q. Are there laws or regulations pertaining to sight distance up and down railroad tracks?
A. No. “There are no mandatory requirements for clear lines of sight at railroad crossings.” Bill Gossard, NTSB.

“…taxpayer dollars are spent to cut grass and weeds on private property owned by a multibillion-dollar railroad corporation.” “Although vaguely worded, federal regulations require railroads to cut and mow their property. “The code says vegetation which is on or immediately adjacent to the roadbed shall be controlled so that it does not become a threat.” Mike Purviance, FRA spokesman. Workers Cut Grass Along Rights of Way, Sun Herald, 9/15/00.

“The crossing is not cleared very well. By the time he got clearance to see anything he had to have been right on the tracks.” St. James Parish Sheriff, Willy Martin, Train Plows into Farm Tractor, AP, 6/4/01

“It only takes a trip to the crossing to see just how dangerous it is.“ The tracks near the intersection are curved coming from both directions, and come out from a woody area. ” Trees line the tracks, and brush is on both sides. The trains can’t see people, either. And you have to get almost right up on the tracks to see clearly that nothing is coming. They sound the horn so close to the intersection that by the time you hear it, you either have to go or stop.” (Register-News, Mary Kay Davis, ‘Residents Near Fatal Crash Site Say They Feared It Would Happen’, July 12, 2002)

Letter to Editor, Free Press Standard – July 2007

Crossing Complaint, Harrison News-Herald Article – July 3, 2007



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