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Train bill derailed in a State Senate committee

The second attempt of legislators to target railways whose trains block intersections in Oklahoma died in a Senate Transportation Committee this week.

House Bill 2472 by House Speaker Charles McCall and Stroud Sen. Jason Smalley did not receive one vote when it came before the Senate Transportation Committee. It was a rewrite of the original bill, made in an attempt to get more support.

The bill would have given authority to local law enforcement officers to issue citations to railroad operators blocking roads and intersections. Fines could have been as high as $5,000.

One Senator noted that similar laws in 16 other states were overturned because they preempted federal oversight of railroads.

Ada Sen. Greg McCortney expressed concerns it might harm rail connections to smaller communities in the state.

House Speaker McCall’s reaction?

“I still believe this is a big public safety issue for the entire state of Oklahoma.”

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