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e-CFR data is current as of November 25, 2020

Title 49Subtitle BChapter IIPart 222 → Subpart A


Title 49: Transportation
PART 222—USE OF LOCOMOTIVE HORNS AT PUBLIC HIGHWAY-RAIL GRADE CROSSINGS


Subpart A—General


Contents
§222.1   What is the purpose of this regulation?
§222.3   What areas does this regulation cover?
§222.5   What railroads does this regulation apply to?
§222.7   What is this regulation's effect on State and local laws and ordinances?
§222.9   Definitions.
§222.11   What are the penalties for failure to comply with this part?
§222.13   Who is responsible for compliance?
§222.15   How does one obtain a waiver of a provision of this regulation?
§222.17   How can a State agency become a recognized State agency?

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§222.1   What is the purpose of this regulation?

The purpose of this part is to provide for safety at public highway-rail grade crossings by requiring locomotive horn use at public highway-rail grade crossings except in quiet zones established and maintained in accordance with this part.

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§222.3   What areas does this regulation cover?

(a) This part prescribes standards for sounding locomotive horns when locomotives approach and pass through public highway-rail grade crossings. This part also provides standards for the creation and maintenance of quiet zones within which locomotive horns need not be sounded.

(b) The provisions of this part are separate and severable from one another. If any provision is stayed or determined to be invalid, it is the intent of FRA that the remaining provisions shall continue in effect.

(c) This part does not apply to any Chicago Region highway-rail grade crossing where the railroad was excused from sounding the locomotive horn by the Illinois Commerce Commission, and where the railroad did not sound the horn, as of December 18, 2003.

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§222.5   What railroads does this regulation apply to?

This part applies to all railroads except:

(a) A railroad that exclusively operates freight trains only on track which is not part of the general railroad system of transportation;

(b) Passenger railroads that operate only on track which is not part of the general railroad system of transportation and that operate at a maximum speed of 15 miles per hour over public highway-rail grade crossings; and

(c) Rapid transit operations within an urban area that are not connected to the general railroad system of transportation. See 49 CFR part 209, appendix A for the definitive statement of the meaning of the preceding sentence.

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§222.7   What is this regulation's effect on State and local laws and ordinances?

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, issuance of this part preempts any State law, rule, regulation, or order governing the sounding of the locomotive horn at public highway-rail grade crossings, in accordance with 49 U.S.C. 20106.

(b) This part does not preempt any State law, rule, regulation, or order governing the sounding of locomotive audible warning devices at any highway-rail grade crossing described in §222.3(c) of this part.

(c) Except as provided in §§222.25 and 222.27, this part does not preempt any State law, rule, regulation, or order governing the sounding of locomotive horns at private highway-rail grade crossings or pedestrian crossings.

(d) Inclusion of SSMs and ASMs in this part or approved subsequent to issuance of this part does not constitute federal preemption of State law regarding whether those measures may be used for traffic control. Individual states may continue to determine whether specific SSMs or ASMs are appropriate traffic control measures for that State, consistent with Federal Highway Administration regulations and the MUTCD. However, except for the SSMs and ASMs implemented at highway-rail grade crossings described in §222.3(c) of this part, inclusion of SSMs and ASMs in this part does constitute federal preemption of State law concerning the sounding of the locomotive horn in relation to the use of those measures.

(e) Issuance of this part does not constitute federal preemption of administrative procedures required under State law regarding the modification or installation of engineering improvements at highway-rail grade crossings.

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§222.9   Definitions.

As used in this part—

Administrator means the Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration or the Administrator's delegate.

Alternative safety measures (ASM) means a safety system or procedure, other than an SSM, established in accordance with this part which is provided by the appropriate traffic control authority or law enforcement authority and which, after individual review and analysis by the Associate Administrator, is determined to be an effective substitute for the locomotive horn in the prevention of highway-rail casualties at specific highway-rail grade crossings. Appendix B to this part lists such measures.

Associate Administrator means the Associate Administrator for Safety of the Federal Railroad Administration or the Associate Administrator's delegate.

Channelization device means a traffic separation system made up of a raised longitudinal channelizer, with vertical panels or tubular delineators, that is placed between opposing highway lanes designed to alert or guide traffic around an obstacle or to direct traffic in a particular direction. “Tubular markers” and “vertical panels”, as described in the MUTCD, are acceptable channelization devices for purposes of this part. Additional design specifications are determined by the standard traffic design specifications used by the governmental entity constructing the channelization device.

Chicago Region means the following six counties in the State of Illinois: Cook, DuPage, Lake, Kane, McHenry and Will.

Crossing Corridor Risk Index means a number reflecting a measure of risk to the motoring public at public grade crossings along a rail corridor, calculated in accordance with the procedures in appendix D of this part, representing the average risk at each public crossing within the corridor. This risk level is determined by averaging among all public crossings within the corridor, the product of the number of predicted collisions per year and the predicted likelihood and severity of casualties resulting from those collisions at each public crossing within the corridor.

Diagnostic team as used in this part, means a group of knowledgeable representatives of parties of interest in a highway-rail grade crossing, organized by the public authority responsible for that crossing, who, using crossing safety management principles, evaluate conditions at a grade crossing to make determinations or recommendations for the public authority concerning safety needs at that crossing.

Effectiveness rate means a number between zero and one which represents the reduction of the likelihood of a collision at a public highway-rail grade crossing as a result of the installation of an SSM or ASM when compared to the same crossing equipped with conventional active warning systems of flashing lights and gates. Zero effectiveness means that the SSM or ASM provides no reduction in the probability of a collision, while an effectiveness rating of one means that the SSM or ASM is totally effective in eliminating collision risk. Measurements between zero and one reflect the percentage by which the SSM or ASM reduces the probability of a collision.

FRA means the Federal Railroad Administration.

Grade Crossing Inventory Form means the U.S. DOT National Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Inventory Form, FRA Form F6180.71. This form is available through the FRA's Office of Safety, or on FRA's Web site at http://www.fra.dot.gov.

Intermediate Partial Quiet Zone means a segment of a rail line within which is situated one or a number of consecutive public highway-rail grade crossings at which State statutes or local ordinances restricted the routine sounding of locomotive horns for a specified period of time during the evening or nighttime hours, or at which locomotive horns did not sound due to formal or informal agreements between the community and the railroad or railroads for a specified period of time during the evening and/or nighttime hours, and at which such statutes, ordinances or agreements were in place and enforced or observed as of December 18, 2003, but not as of October 9, 1996.

Intermediate Quiet Zone means a segment of a rail line within which is situated one or a number of consecutive public highway-rail grade crossings at which State statutes or local ordinances restricted the routine sounding of locomotive horns, or at which locomotive horns did not sound due to formal or informal agreements between the community and the railroad or railroads, and at which such statutes, ordinances or agreements were in place and enforced or observed as of December 18, 2003, but not as of October 9, 1996.

Locomotive means a piece of on-track equipment other than hi-rail, specialized maintenance, or other similar equipment—

(1) With one or more propelling motors designed for moving other equipment;

(2) With one or more propelling motors designed to carry freight or passenger traffic or both; or

(3) Without propelling motors but with one or more control stands.

Locomotive audible warning device means a horn, whistle, siren, or bell affixed to a locomotive that is capable of producing an audible signal.

Locomotive horn means a locomotive air horn, steam whistle, or similar audible warning device (see 49 CFR 229.129) mounted on a locomotive or control cab car. The terms “locomotive horn”, “train whistle”, “locomotive whistle”, and “train horn” are used interchangeably in the railroad industry. For purposes of this part, locomotive horns used in rapid transit operations must be suitable for street usage and/or designed in accordance with State law requirements.

Median means the portion of a divided highway separating the travel ways for traffic in opposite directions.

MUTCD means the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices published by the Federal Highway Administration.

Nationwide Significant Risk Threshold means a number reflecting a measure of risk, calculated on a nationwide basis, which reflects the average level of risk to the motoring public at public highway-rail grade crossings equipped with flashing lights and gates and at which locomotive horns are sounded. For purposes of this rule, a risk level above the Nationwide Significant Risk Threshold represents a significant risk with respect to loss of life or serious personal injury. The Nationwide Significant Risk Threshold is calculated in accordance with the procedures in appendix D of this part. Unless otherwise indicated, references in this part to the Nationwide Significant Risk Threshold reflect its level as last published by FRA in the Federal Register.

New Partial Quiet Zone means a segment of a rail line within which is situated one or a number of consecutive public highway-rail crossings at which locomotive horns are not routinely sounded between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m., but are routinely sounded during the remaining portion of the day, and which does not qualify as a Pre-Rule Partial Quiet Zone or an Intermediate Partial Quiet Zone.

New Quiet Zone means a segment of a rail line within which is situated one or a number of consecutive public highway-rail grade crossings at which routine sounding of locomotive horns is restricted pursuant to this part and which does not qualify as either a Pre-Rule Quiet Zone or Intermediate Quiet Zone.

Non-traversable curb means a highway curb designed to discourage a motor vehicle from leaving the roadway. Non-traversable curbs are used at locations where highway speeds do not exceed 40 miles per hour and are at least six inches high. Additional design specifications are determined by the standard traffic design specifications used by the governmental entity constructing the curb.

Partial Quiet Zone means a segment of a rail line within which is situated one or a number of consecutive public highway-rail grade crossings at which locomotive horns are not routinely sounded for a specified period of time during the evening and/or nighttime hours.

Pedestrian grade crossing means, for purposes of this part, a separate designed sidewalk or pathway where pedestrians, but not vehicles, cross railroad tracks. Sidewalk crossings contiguous with, or separate but adjacent to, public highway-rail grade crossings are presumed to be part of the public highway-rail grade crossing and are not considered pedestrian grade crossings.

Power-out indicator means a device which is capable of indicating to trains approaching a grade crossing equipped with an active warning system whether commercial electric power is activating the warning system at that crossing. This term includes remote health monitoring of grade crossing warning systems if such monitoring system is equipped to indicate power status.

Pre-existing Modified Supplementary Safety Measure (Pre-existing Modified SSM) means a safety system or procedure that is listed in appendix A to this Part, but is not fully compliant with the standards set forth therein, which was installed before December 18, 2003 by the appropriate traffic control or law enforcement authority responsible for safety at the highway-rail grade crossing. The calculation of risk reduction credit for pre-existing modified SSMs is addressed in appendix B of this part.

Pre-existing Supplementary Safety Measure (Pre-existing SSM) means a safety system or procedure established in accordance with this part before December 18, 2003 which was provided by the appropriate traffic control or law enforcement authority responsible for safety at the highway-rail grade crossing. These safety measures must fully comply with the SSM requirements set forth in appendix A of this part. The calculation of risk reduction credit for qualifying pre-existing SSMs is addressed in appendix A.

Pre-Rule Partial Quiet Zone means a segment of a rail line within which is situated one or a number of consecutive public highway-rail crossings at which State statutes or local ordinances restricted the routine sounding of locomotive horns for a specified period of time during the evening and/or nighttime hours, or at which locomotive horns did not sound due to formal or informal agreements between the community and the railroad or railroads for a specified period of time during the evening and/or nighttime hours, and at which such statutes, ordinances or agreements were in place and enforced or observed as of October 9, 1996 and on December 18, 2003.

Pre-Rule Quiet Zone means a segment of a rail line within which is situated one or a number of consecutive public highway-rail crossings at which State statutes or local ordinances restricted the routine sounding of locomotive horns, or at which locomotive horns did not sound due to formal or informal agreements between the community and the railroad or railroads, and at which such statutes, ordinances or agreements were in place and enforced or observed as of October 9, 1996 and on December 18, 2003.

Private highway-rail grade crossing means, for purposes of this part, a highway-rail grade crossing which is not a public highway-rail grade crossing.

Public authority means the public entity responsible for traffic control or law enforcement at the public highway-rail grade or pedestrian crossing.

Public highway-rail grade crossing means, for purposes of this part, a location where a public highway, road, or street, including associated sidewalks or pathways, crosses one or more railroad tracks at grade. If a public authority maintains the roadway on both sides of the crossing, the crossing is considered a public crossing for purposes of this part.

Quiet zone means a segment of a rail line, within which is situated one or a number of consecutive public highway-rail crossings at which locomotive horns are not routinely sounded.

Quiet Zone Risk Index means a measure of risk to the motoring public which reflects the Crossing Corridor Risk Index for a quiet zone, after adjustment to account for increased risk due to lack of locomotive horn use at the crossings within the quiet zone (if horns are presently sounded at the crossings) and reduced risk due to implementation, if any, of SSMs and ASMs with the quiet zone. The calculation of the Quiet Zone Risk Index, which is explained in appendix D of this part, does not differ for partial quiet zones.

Railroad means any form of non-highway ground transportation that runs on rails or electromagnetic guideways and any entity providing such transportation, including:

(1) Commuter or other short-haul railroad passenger service in a metropolitan or suburban area and commuter railroad service that was operated by the Consolidated Rail Corporation on January 1, 1979; and

(2) High speed ground transportation systems that connect metropolitan areas, without regard to whether those systems use new technologies not associated with traditional railroads; but does not include rapid transit operations in an urban area that are not connected to the general railroad system of transportation.

Recognized State agency means, for purposes of this part, a State agency, responsible for highway-rail grade crossing safety or highway and road safety, that has applied for and been approved by FRA as a participant in the quiet zone development process.

Relevant collision means a collision at a highway-rail grade crossing between a train and a motor vehicle, excluding the following: a collision resulting from an activation failure of an active grade crossing warning system; a collision in which there is no driver in the motor vehicle; or a collision in which the highway vehicle struck the side of the train beyond the fourth locomotive unit or rail car. With respect to Pre-Rule Partial Quiet Zones, a relevant collision shall not include collisions that occur during the time period within which the locomotive horn is routinely sounded.

Risk Index With Horns means a measure of risk to the motoring public when locomotive horns are routinely sounded at every public highway-rail grade crossing within a quiet zone. In Pre-Rule Quiet Zones and Pre-Rule Partial Quiet Zones, the Risk Index With Horns is determined by adjusting the Crossing Corridor Risk Index to account for the decreased risk that would result if locomotive horns were routinely sounded at each public highway-rail grade crossing.

Supplementary safety measure (SSM) means a safety system or procedure established in accordance with this part which is provided by the appropriate traffic control authority or law enforcement authority responsible for safety at the highway-rail grade crossing, that is determined by the Associate Administrator to be an effective substitute for the locomotive horn in the prevention of highway-rail casualties. Appendix A of this part lists such SSMs.

Waiver means a temporary or permanent modification of some or all of the requirements of this part as they apply to a specific party under a specific set of facts. Waiver does not refer to the process of establishing quiet zones or approval of quiet zones in accordance with the provisions of this part.

Wayside horn means a stationary horn located at a highway rail grade crossing, designed to provide, upon the approach of a locomotive or train, audible warning to oncoming motorists of the approach of a train.

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§222.11   What are the penalties for failure to comply with this part?

Any person who violates any requirement of this part or causes the violation of any such requirement is subject to a civil penalty of least $892 and not more than $29,192 per violation, except that: Penalties may be assessed against individuals only for willful violations, and, where a grossly negligent violation or a pattern of repeated violations has created an imminent hazard of death or injury to persons, or has caused death or injury, a penalty not to exceed $116,766 per violation may be assessed. Each day a violation continues shall constitute a separate offense. Any person who knowingly and willfully falsifies a record or report required by this part may be subject to criminal penalties under 49 U.S.C. 21311. FRA's website at www.fra.dot.gov contains a schedule of civil penalty amounts used in connection with this part.

[71 FR 47634, Aug. 17, 2006, as amended at 72 FR 51197, Sept. 6, 2007; 73 FR 79702, Dec. 30, 2008; 74 FR 46394, Sept. 9, 2009; 77 FR 24420, Apr. 24, 2012; 81 FR 43110, July 1, 2016; 82 FR 16133, Apr. 3, 2017; 83 FR 60747, Nov. 27, 2018; 84 FR 23735, May 23, 2019; 84 FR 37073, July 31, 2019; 84 FR 57813, Oct. 29, 2019]

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§222.13   Who is responsible for compliance?

Any person, including but not limited to a railroad, contractor for a railroad, or a local or State governmental entity that performs any function covered by this part, must perform that function in accordance with this part.

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§222.15   How does one obtain a waiver of a provision of this regulation?

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, two parties must jointly file a petition (request) for a waiver. They are the railroad owning or controlling operations over the railroad tracks crossing the public highway-rail grade crossing and the public authority which has jurisdiction over the roadway crossing the railroad tracks.

(b) If the railroad and the public authority cannot reach agreement to file a joint petition, either party may file a request for a waiver; however, the filing party must specify in its petition the steps it has taken in an attempt to reach agreement with the other party, and explain why applying the requirement that a joint submission be made in that instance would not be likely to contribute significantly to public safety. If the Associate Administrator determines that applying the requirement for a jointly filed submission to that particular petition would not be likely to significantly contribute to public safety, the Associate Administrator shall waive the requirement for joint submission and accept the petition for consideration. The filing party must also provide the other party with a copy of the petition filed with FRA.

(c) Each petition for waiver must be filed in accordance with 49 CFR part 211.

(d) If the Administrator finds that a waiver of compliance with a provision of this part is in the public interest and consistent with the safety of highway and railroad users, the Administrator may grant the waiver subject to any conditions the Administrator deems necessary.

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§222.17   How can a State agency become a recognized State agency?

(a) Any State agency responsible for highway-rail grade crossing safety and/or highway and road safety may become a recognized State agency by submitting an application to the Associate Administrator that contains:

(1) A detailed description of the proposed scope of involvement in the quiet zone development process;

(2) The name, address, and telephone number of the person(s) who may be contacted to discuss the State agency application; and

(3) A statement from State agency counsel which affirms that the State agency is authorized to undertake the responsibilities proposed in its application.

(b) The Associate Administrator will approve the application if, in the Associate Administrator's judgment, the proposed scope of State agency involvement will facilitate safe and effective quiet zone development. The Associate Administrator may include in any decision of approval such conditions as he/she deems necessary and appropriate.

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