Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 56. Public Service Companies
Chapter 13. Railroad Corporations

§ 56-414. Bell and whistle or horn; when sounded.

Every railroad company shall provide each locomotive passing upon its road with a bell of ordinary size and steam whistle or horn, and such whistle or horn shall be sharply sounded outside cities and towns at least twice at a distance of not less than 300 yards nor more than 600 yards from the place where the railroad crosses upon the same level any public highway or crossing, and such bell shall be rung or whistle or horn sounded continuously or alternately until the locomotive has reached such highway crossing, and shall give such signals in cities and towns as their local governing bodies may require.

The governing body of any county, city, or town may by ordinance require locomotives to sound their whistle upon approaching designated railroad trestles or bridges having lengths of 100 feet or more. Notice of any such requirement shall be given by registered mail to the registered agent of the railroad operating in the affected county, city, or town. Affected railroads shall comply with any such ordinance within 30 days of receiving the notice.

The governing body of any county, city, or town may, by ordinance adopted following a public hearing, petition the State Corporation Commission to enter an order, pursuant to the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure, requiring locomotives to sound their whistle or horn at specifically identified private crossings in the same manner as required for public crossings. If the Commission should deem the blowing of the locomotive whistle at such private crossings to be necessary in the interest of safety under all relevant circumstances, then it shall enter an order. The affected railroad shall comply with the order within 90 days of receipt by its registered agent of notice sent by registered mail and the locality must first install stop signs on both sides of such private crossing, to be paid for by the locality or the landowner. The Commission may establish and collect a fee, not to exceed its actual costs, from applicants for an order to sound locomotive whistles pursuant to this section.

Code 1919, § 3958; 1950, p. 944; 1956, c. 164; 1993, c. 483; 2003, c. 287.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.