Railroad workers would be deputized to turn in folks who drive around the stop-arms at railroad crossings if a bill that cleared a House committee becomes law. Representative Henry Rayhons, a republican from Garner. says it may be one way to stop the rise of car versus train accidents. “I’ve seen people (who) have dodged through the signals,” Rayhons says. “It’s very dangerous.” The bill is fashioned after a new Iowa law that lets school bus drivers write down and turn in the license numbers of vehicles that illegally pass school buses. Rayhons admits there will be fewer railroad employees in a position to police railroad crossings. “But if there is somebody there (who) can turn (a license number) in to a law enforcement officer, it might help in some cases,” Rayhons says. He doubts, though, that rail line engineers would be able to see the license numbers of cars that sneak out in front of their trains. The bill passed the House Transportation Comittee yesterday (Tuesday). One committee member objected to the idea of tracking offending vehicle license numbers because the person who drove around the railroad crossing arms may not be the owner of the car or truck.
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