Disregarded Signal At RR Crossing: Fines, Points and Defense

Disregarded signal at a railway crossing typically occurs when a driver fails to stop or continues through a signal at the crossing indicating that the vehicle must stop. This is true whether or not a train is actually visible providing the signal is activated and is indicating that the traffic should stop. It is estimated that approximately 80% of all railway crossings in the United States don't have gates or lights, but 40% of all accidents between trains and vehicles occur at protected crossings. The cause is overwhelmingly driver's disregarding signals.

Fines And Penalties

Failing to stop at a railway crossing typically results in both fines as well as driver responsibility penalties. Since this is a serious and very dangerous offense the fines and penalties are typically significant even as a first offense. Generally fines will start at about $200.00 and go up, and penalty points assigned and, in some cases, if combined with other traffic violations there can be suspension of the drivers license.  

Points And Impact On Driving Record/License

Most states set 3 to 4 driver responsibility points for a charge of failing to stop at a controlled railway crossing. For bus drivers or those with commercial driver's license the penalties and fines will be significantly higher and can result in loss of their driver's license.   It may also prevent individuals from obtaining a bus licenses or a CDL in the future.

Hiring A Lawyer

Incorrect signal performance or signals that are hidden to the driver by trees or other obstructions may be mitigating factors in getting the charges dismissed. Working with an attorney is the best way to fight the ticket and prevent dramatic increases to your insurance, possible loss of driving privileges and additional costs to renew your driver's license.


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