Ticket For Failing To Stop At A Railroad Crossing In Philadelphia
When approaching a railroad crossing or rail transit, you must take extreme caution to properly come to a complete stop, as a way to ensure the safety of your passengers, yourself and the passengers on the train. Railroads and rail transit are used throughout the state of Pennsylvania to transport passengers and freight in an efficient and timely manner. Due to the speed, size and weight of a train, it cannot stop as quickly as a car would be able to in the event that something comes across its path. Pennsylvania law requires drivers approaching a railroad crossing to come to a complete stop as soon as the crossing lights begin to flash and the crossing arms close down. Motorists may not cross the track until the arms have risen up completely and the lights have stopped flashing.
In Pennsylvania, as in most states, you are required to stop your vehicle prior to going through a railroad crossing. Given both the speed and mass of trains, the consequences of failing to stop at a crossing may be disastrous. This is why the Commonwealth has made failure to stop at railroad crossings a very serious offense – carrying 4 points on your license. The points, along with a fine amounting up to $500, makes this one of the more significant Traffic Tickets in Pennsylvania.
In order to comply with the law, you must stop your vehicle within 50 feet of the tracks – but no less than 15 feet from the tracks – looking and listening in both directions so as to make sure it is safe to proceed.
There are exceptions, however. If there is a traffic light displaying a green signal, you may progress without stopping. Further, if there is a traffic device which provides notice that there is no need to stop, you may progress accordingly. Additionally, if there is a sign indicating that the tracks are “abandoned” or “exempt” then you may continue. However, in that case it is still advisable to stop, as you cannot be certain that the sign has been given the approval of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. While you would not receive a Ticket for acknowledging such signs, this is all ultimately an issue of safety, and proceeding through tracks which are even potentially in use amounts to putting yourself at risk.
All of these rules can be hard to comprehend, especially if you are driving while trying to interpret the rules. If you have received a ticket for failing to stop at a railroad crossing, the Traffic Lawyers with The Law Offices of Greg Prosmushkin, P.C. can help. Call today to schedule a free consultation at 215-673-7733.
This content was written on behalf of Greg Prosmushkin.