The Chicago area is a primary hub of railroad activity for the United States, with six of the seven largest railroads in the country, plus other smaller regional railroads running over 500 freight trains through the area daily. Add to that more than 750 daily Metra, Amtrak, and South Shore trains carrying commuters and visitors on the system. All of this railroad activity means cars and trucks in the Chicago region must navigate a lot of railroad crossings on a daily basis.
If you are a commercial driver’s license (CDL) holder, every time you drive over one of these crossings, you risk a violation that can impact your ability to make a living. Even violations in your personal vehicle can count against your CDL privileges, so it is best to be safe and know your responsibilities.
Railroad Crossing Violations That Can Impact a CDL
Safety for all vehicles, especially trucks, is held at a premium at railroad crossings. A violation could result in an accident that impacts the truck driver, crew and passengers on the train, and surrounding vehicles, pedestrians, and property. For violations that assign points to your license, three or more offenses committed within any period of 12 months will result in the suspension or revocation of your license. The action by the court is determined by the number of points of the violations.
Here are some of the point values associated with common railroad crossing violations:
- Failing to stop for an approaching train or signal – 20 points
- Failing to stop before you reach a railroad crossing if the tracks are not clear – 20 points
- Failing to obey a traffic control device or a law enforcement official at a railroad crossing – 20 points
- Failing to slow down and confirm that there is no approaching train – 20 points
- Failing to negotiate a railroad-highway grade crossing because of your vehicle does not have enough clearance – 20 points
- Failing to stop at a railroad grade crossing – 20 points
- Improper movement of heavy equipment across a railroad grade crossing – 5 points
- Failing to have space to drive through a railroad crossing – Will result in suspension or revocation of driver’s license and/or privileges
The severity of your violation or violations may trigger fines and disqualification of your commercial driver’s license. Based on the circumstances of the driver and the violations, an experienced attorney can work to get your charges reduced.
Contact a Kane County CDL Violation Attorney
If you have been ticketed for a serious violation at a railroad crossing or any other offense that may result in a CDL suspension, you need to contact the Elgin CDL defense lawyers at The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola. We will work with you to build a defense and keep you behind the wheel. Call our office at 847-488-0889 for a free consultation.
Chicago Region Environmental & Transportation Efficiency (CREATE) Program