Advance audible warning from the train that it is approaching a railroad grade crossing
Ohio Revised Code 4955.32- Follows the guidelines outlined by CFR 49, Part 222, Subpart B, 222.21). Ohio law allows for an alternate audible warning system based on Ohio Revised Code 4955.321 which states: The public utilities commission may evaluate alternative systems for providing an audible warning of an approaching locomotive. The commission may approve4 the use of an audible warning system as an alternative to the horn sounding required under division (B) (1) of section 4955.32 of the Revised Code only if it determines that the audible warning system complies with applicable federal requirements for an audible warning of an approaching train and only if train-activated warning devices also are present at any public highway or grade crossing at which the alternative audible warning system is installed. The commission shall establish guidelines for the use and operation of any alternative audible warning system it approves.
Ohio law previously required locomotive warnings (horn) in concert with potential sight obstructions. A bell and air whistle were required, and in cases where the view was obstructed at the railroad crossing(public and private), the train’s engineer was to: (1) sound the whistle l/4 mile from the crossing, and ring the bell continuously until the engine passed through the crossing, or use an alternative PUCO-approved system. (This was amended by the 130th General Assembly, HB 59, effective 9/29/13).
Ohio Revised Code 4955.322 Immunity from liability (effective 9/29/13 amended by 130th General Assembly, HB 59) PRIVATE CROSSINGS: The sounding of a locomotive horn at a private crossing or the failure to sound a locomotive horn at a private crossing is not a basis for a civil action against the railroad company that operating the locomotive, a board of county commissioners, or any local authority, or against the employees or agents of the company, board or authority.
Federal: CFR, Title 49, Part 222, Subpart B, 222.21- The sounding of a locomotive horn is to be sounded 15 to 20 seconds before a locomotive or lead car reaches a public rail-highway grade crossing, with two long blasts, and one short blast and one long blast and repeated or prolonged until the locomotive occupies the crossing. The horn does not have to be sounded when approaching or passing through grade separated or private crossings (unless required by state law). This pattern can be changed where crossings are spaced closely together. Trains and locomotives traveling at speeds in excess of 60mph shall not begin sounding the horn more than one-quarter mile (1,320 feet) in advance of the nearest public rail-highway crossing.
CFR, Title 49, Part 222, Subpart B, 222.25-Does not require the routine sounding of locomotive horns at private rail-highway crossings. However, where state law requires the sounding of a locomotive horn at private rail-highway crossings, the locomotive horn shall be sounded in accordance with 222.21 of this part. Where state law requires the sounding of a locomotive audible warning device other than the locomotive horn at private rail-highway crossings, the locomotive audible warning device shall be sounded in accordance with 222.21(b) and (d) of this part.
Whistle Bans/Quiet Zones have been established where at minimum each grade crossing is equipped with flashing lights and gates, or additional safety measures are in place to compensate for the absence of the horn as a warning device.
"Bad Crossings Kill Good Drivers"®