Indiana House Democratic Caucus

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Locomotive laws will be updated under Kersey bill endorsed by House committee

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For immediate release:
Feb. 14, 2013


INDIANAPOLIS - The Indiana House Standing Committee on Roads & Transportation has passed legislation coauthored by Rep. Clyde Kersey (D-Terre Haute) that updates current law to allow locomotive operations to run more efficiently.

House Bill 1310 is a bipartisan effort with Rep. Tom Saunders (R-Lewisville), and passed through committee with a 12-0 vote. The bill will now advance to the House floor for consideration and further possible action.

Kersey’s bill removes the legal requirement that locomotives need a working bell to ring at all crossings. Under current law, locomotives must brake at every crossing if the bell is not working—a process that takes about 20 minutes.

According to Kersey, trains use whistles anyway, so removing the legal obligation of a working bell will make railroad operations more efficient.

“It’s an old law, and the railroad companies want it changed so they can run more smoothly,” he said. “There is no reason to sound both the whistle and the bell, and this bill simply changes the legal language to keep railroad institutions from being tied down to outdated requirements.”

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