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Certain Vehicles to Use Hazard Lights at Railroad Crossing 75-3342(e)

§ 3342. Vehicles required to stop at railroad crossings.

Fines + costs

No suspension

Offense carries 4 points


§ 3342. Vehicles required to stop at railroad crossings.

(a) General rule.–Except as provided in subsection (c), the driver of any vehicle described in subsection (b), before crossing at grade any track or tracks of a railroad, shall stop the vehicle within 50 feet but not less than 15 feet from the nearest rail of the railroad crossing and while so stopped shall listen and look in both directions along the track for any approaching train, and for signals indicating the approach of a train. When it is safe to do so, the driver of the vehicle shall drive the vehicle across the tracks only in such gear of the vehicle that there will be no necessity for manually changing gears while traversing the crossing. The driver shall not manually shift gears while crossing the track or tracks.

(b) Vehicles subject to stopping requirement.–Subsection (a) shall apply to the following vehicles:

(1) Any vehicle designated by the department in accordance with the provisions of subsection (d).

(2) A school bus, whether or not carrying passengers.

(3) Every truck and tractor combination which carries gasoline, diesel fuel, fuel oil, explosives or radioactive materials.

(4) Every bus transporting passengers.

(5) Any vehicle specified in 49 CFR 392.10(a) (relating to railroad grade crossings; stopping required) or any current amendment or modification to that section published by the United States Department of Transportation.

(c) Exceptions.–Subsection (a) does not apply at any of the following:

(1) Any railroad grade crossing at which traffic is controlled by a police officer or flagman, who indicates that the vehicle is not required to stop.

(2) Any railroad grade crossing at which traffic is regulated by a functioning highway traffic-control signal transmitting a green indication for the direction of travel of the vehicle.

(3) Any railroad grade crossing at which an official traffic-control device gives notice that the stopping requirement imposed by this section does not apply.

(4) Any abandoned railroad grade crossing which is marked by the former rail operator with a sign prescribed by the department indicating that the rail line is abandoned.

(5) An industrial or spur line railroad grade crossing marked with a sign reading “exempt.” Such a sign shall be erected only by or with the consent of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.

(d) Notice of vehicles subject to section.–The department shall publish in the Pennsylvania Bulletin a notice describing the vehicles which must comply with the stopping requirements of subsection (a). In developing the list of vehicles, the department shall give consideration to the hazardous nature of any substance carried by the vehicle as determined by the department and to the number of passengers carried by the vehicle in determining whether the vehicle shall be required to stop. This list of vehicles shall correlate with and so far as possible conform to the regulations of the United States Department of Transportation as amended from time to time.

(e) Use of vehicle hazard lights.–The driver of any vehicle mentioned in subsection (b)(2) and (3) shall activate the vehicle hazard lights when stopping at the railroad crossing.

(f) Penalty.–A violation of this section constitutes a summary offense punishable by a fine of from $100 to $150, except that a violation of subsection (b) or (e) shall be punishable by a fine of from $200 to $500.

(g) Requirement upon approaching tracks.–Every commercial motor vehicle as defined by section 1603 (relating to definitions) other than those listed in subsection (b) shall, upon approaching any track or tracks of a railroad, be driven at a rate of speed which will permit the commercial motor vehicle to be stopped before reaching the nearest rail of the railroad crossing and shall not be driven upon or over such crossing until the course is clear.

(July 9, 1986, P.L.544, No.96, eff. 60 days; Dec. 11, 1986, P.L.1530, No.166, eff. 60 days; Dec. 10, 1996, P.L.925, No.149, eff. 60 days; Dec. 21, 1998, P.L.1126, No.151, eff. 60 days; July 5, 2005, P.L.100, No.37)