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e-CFR data is current as of October 22, 2020

Title 49Subtitle BChapter IIPart 222Subpart C → §222.51


Title 49: Transportation
PART 222—USE OF LOCOMOTIVE HORNS AT PUBLIC HIGHWAY-RAIL GRADE CROSSINGS
Subpart C—Exceptions to the Use of the Locomotive Horn


§222.51   Under what conditions will quiet zone status be terminated?

(a) New Quiet Zones—Annual risk review. (1) FRA will annually calculate the Quiet Zone Risk Index for each quiet zone established pursuant to §§222.39(a)(2) and 222.39(b) of this part, and in comparison to the Nationwide Significant Risk Threshold. FRA will notify each public authority of the Quiet Zone Risk Index for the preceding calendar year. FRA will not conduct annual risk reviews for quiet zones established by having an SSM at every public crossing within the quiet zone or for quiet zones established by reducing the Quiet Zone Risk Index to the Risk Index With Horns.

(2) Actions to be taken by public authority to retain quiet zone. If the Quiet Zone Risk Index is above the Nationwide Significant Risk Threshold, the quiet zone will terminate six months from the date of receipt of notification from FRA that the Quiet Zone Risk Index exceeds the Nationwide Significant Risk Threshold, unless the public authority takes the following actions:

(i) Within six months after the date of receipt of notification from FRA that the Quiet Zone Risk Index exceeds the Nationwide Significant Risk Threshold, provide to the Associate Administrator a written commitment to lower the potential risk to the traveling public at the crossings within the quiet zone to a level at, or below, the Nationwide Significant Risk Threshold or the Risk Index With Horns. Included in the commitment statement shall be a discussion of the specific steps to be taken by the public authority to increase safety at the crossings within the quiet zone; and

(ii) Within three years after the date of receipt of notification from FRA that the Quiet Zone Risk Index exceeds the Nationwide Significant Risk Threshold, complete implementation of SSMs or ASMs sufficient to reduce the Quiet Zone Risk Index to a level at, or below, the Nationwide Significant Risk Threshold, or the Risk Index With Horns, and receive approval from the Associate Administrator, under the procedures set forth in §222.39(b) of this part, for continuation of the quiet zone. If the Quiet Zone Risk Index is reduced to the Risk Index With Horns, the quiet zone will be considered to have been established pursuant to §222.39(a)(3) of this part and subsequent annual risk reviews will not be conducted for that quiet zone.

(iii) Failure to comply with paragraph (a)(2)(i) of this section shall result in the termination of the quiet zone six months after the date of receipt of notification from FRA that the Quiet Zone Risk Index exceeds the Nationwide Significant Risk Threshold. Failure to comply with paragraph (a)(2)(ii) of this section shall result in the termination of the quiet zone three years after the date of receipt of notification from FRA that the Quiet Zone Risk Index exceeds the Nationwide Significant Risk Threshold.

(b) Pre-Rule Quiet Zones—Annual risk review. (1) FRA will annually calculate the Quiet Zone Risk Index for each Pre-Rule Quiet Zone and Pre-Rule Partial Quiet Zone that qualified for automatic approval pursuant to §§222.41(a)(1)(ii), 222.41(a)(1)(iii), 222.41(b)(1)(ii), and 222.41(b)(1)(iii) of this part. FRA will notify each public authority of the Quiet Zone Risk Index for the preceding calendar year. FRA will also notify each public authority if a relevant collision occurred at a grade crossing within the quiet zone during the preceding calendar year.

(2) Pre-Rule Quiet Zones and Pre-Rule Partial Quiet Zones authorized under §§222.41(a)(1)(ii) and 222.41(b)(1)(ii). (i) If a Pre-Rule Quiet Zone or Pre-Rule Partial Quiet Zone originally qualified for automatic approval because the Quiet Zone Risk Index was at, or below, the Nationwide Significant Risk Threshold, the quiet zone may continue unchanged if the Quiet Zone Risk Index as last calculated by the FRA remains at, or below, the Nationwide Significant Risk Threshold.

(ii) If the Quiet Zone Risk Index as last calculated by FRA is above the Nationwide Significant Risk Threshold, but is lower than twice the Nationwide Significant Risk Threshold and no relevant collisions have occurred at crossings within the quiet zone within the five years preceding the annual risk review, then the quiet zone may continue as though it originally received automatic approval pursuant to §222.41(a)(1)(iii) or 222.41(b)(1)(iii) of this part.

(iii) If the Quiet Zone Risk Index as last calculated by FRA is at, or above, twice the Nationwide Significant Risk Threshold, or if the Quiet Zone Risk Index is above the Nationwide Significant Risk Threshold, but is lower than twice the Nationwide Significant Risk Threshold and a relevant collision occurred at a crossing within the quiet zone within the preceding five calendar years, the quiet zone will terminate six months after the date of receipt of notification from FRA of the Nationwide Significant Risk Threshold level, unless the public authority takes the actions specified in paragraph (b)(4) of this section.

(3) Pre-Rule Quiet Zones and Pre-Rule Partial Quiet Zones authorized under §§222.41(a)(1)(iii) and 222.41(b)(1)(iii). (i) If a Pre-Rule Quiet Zone or Pre-Rule Partial Quiet Zone originally qualified for automatic approval because the Quiet Zone Risk Index was above the Nationwide Significant Risk Threshold, but below twice the Nationwide Significant Risk Threshold, and no relevant collisions had occurred within the five-year qualifying period, the quiet zone may continue unchanged if the Quiet Zone Risk Index as last calculated by FRA remains below twice the Nationwide Significant Risk Threshold and no relevant collisions occurred at a public grade crossing within the quiet zone during the preceding calendar year.

(ii) If the Quiet Zone Risk Index as last calculated by FRA is at, or above, twice the Nationwide Significant Risk Threshold, or if a relevant collision occurred at a public grade crossing within the quiet zone during the preceding calendar year, the quiet zone will terminate six months after the date of receipt of notification from FRA that the Quiet Zone Risk Index is at, or exceeds twice the Nationwide Significant Risk Threshold or that a relevant collision occurred at a crossing within the quiet zone, unless the public authority takes the actions specified in paragraph (b)(4) of this section.

(4) Actions to be taken by the public authority to retain a quiet zone. (i) Within six months after the date of FRA notification, the public authority shall provide to the Associate Administrator a written commitment to lower the potential risk to the traveling public at the crossings within the quiet zone by reducing the Quiet Zone Risk Index to a level at, or below, the Nationwide Significant Risk Threshold or the Risk Index With Horns. Included in the commitment statement shall be a discussion of the specific steps to be taken by the public authority to increase safety at the public crossings within the quiet zone; and

(ii) Within three years of the date of FRA notification, the public authority shall complete implementation of SSMs or ASMs sufficient to reduce the Quiet Zone Risk Index to a level at, or below, the Nationwide Significant Risk Threshold, or the Risk Index With Horns, and receive approval from the Associate Administrator, under the procedures set forth in §222.39(b) of this part, for continuation of the quiet zone. If the Quiet Zone Risk Index is reduced to a level that fully compensates for the absence of the train horn, the quiet zone will be considered to have been established pursuant to §222.39(a)(3) of this part and subsequent annual risk reviews will not be conducted for that quiet zone.

(iii) Failure to comply with paragraph (b)(4)(i) of this section shall result in the termination of the quiet zone six months after the date of receipt of notification from FRA. Failure to comply with paragraph (b)(4)(ii) of this section shall result in the termination of the quiet zone three years after the date of receipt of notification from FRA.

(c) Review at FRA's initiative. (1) The Associate Administrator may, at any time, review the status of any quiet zone.

(2) If the Associate Administrator makes any of the following preliminary determinations, the Associate Administrator will provide written notice to the public authority, all railroads operating over public highway-rail grade crossings within the quiet zone, the highway or traffic control authority or law enforcement authority having control over vehicular traffic at the crossings within the quiet zone, the landowner having control over any private crossings within the quiet zone, the State agency responsible for grade crossing safety, and the State agency responsible for highway and road safety and will publish a notice of the determination in the Federal Register:

(i) Safety systems and measures implemented within the quiet zone do not fully compensate for the absence of the locomotive horn due to a substantial increase in risk;

(ii) Documentation relied upon to establish the quiet zone contains substantial errors that may have an adverse impact on public safety; or

(iii) Significant risk with respect to loss of life or serious personal injury exists within the quiet zone.

(3) After providing an opportunity for comment, the Associate Administrator may require that additional safety measures be taken or that the quiet zone be terminated. The Associate Administrator will provide a copy of his/her decision to the public authority and all parties listed in paragraph (c)(2) of this section. The public authority may appeal the Associate Administrator's decision in accordance with §222.57(c) of this part. Nothing in this section is intended to limit the Administrator's emergency authority under 49 U.S.C. 20104 and 49 CFR part 211.

(d) Termination by the public authority. (1) Any public authority that participated in the establishment of a quiet zone under the provisions of this part may, at any time, withdraw its quiet zone status.

(2) A public authority may withdraw its quiet zone status by providing written notice of termination, by certified mail, return receipt requested, to all railroads operating the public highway-rail grade crossings within the quiet zone, the highway or traffic control authority or law enforcement authority having control over vehicular traffic at the crossings within the quiet zone, the landowner having control over any private crossings within the quiet zone, the State agency responsible for grade crossing safety, the State agency responsible for highway and road safety, and the Associate Administrator.

(3)(i) If the quiet zone that is being withdrawn was part of a multi-jurisdictional quiet zone, the remaining quiet zones may remain in effect, provided the public authorities responsible for the remaining quiet zones provide statements to the Associate Administrator certifying that the Quiet Zone Risk Index for each remaining quiet zone is at, or below, the Nationwide Significant Risk Threshold or the Risk Index With Horns. These statements shall be provided, no later than six months after the date on which the notice of quiet zone termination was mailed, to all parties listed in paragraph (d)(2) of this section.

(ii) If any remaining quiet zone has a Quiet Zone Risk Index in excess of the Nationwide Significant Risk Threshold and the Risk Index With Horns, the public authority responsible for the quiet zone shall submit a written commitment, to all parties listed in paragraph (d)(2) of this section, to reduce the Quiet Zone Risk Index to a level at or below the Nationwide Significant Risk Threshold or the Risk Index With Horns within three years. Included in the commitment statement shall be a discussion of the specific steps to be taken by the public authority to reduce the Quiet Zone Risk Index. This commitment statement shall be provided to all parties listed in paragraph (d)(2) of this section no later than six months after the date on which the notice of quiet zone termination was mailed.

(iii) Failure to comply with paragraphs (d)(3)(i) and (d)(3)(ii) of this section shall result in the termination of the remaining quiet zone(s) six months after the date on which the notice of quiet zone termination was mailed by the withdrawing public authority in accordance with paragraph (d)(2) of this section.

(iv) Failure to complete implementation of SSMs and/or ASMs to reduce the Quiet Zone Risk Index to a level at, or below, the Nationwide Significant Risk Index or the Risk Index With Horns, in accordance with the written commitment provided under paragraph (d)(3)(ii) of this section, shall result in the termination of quiet zone status three years after the date on which the written commitment was received by FRA.

(e) Notification of termination. (1) In the event that a quiet zone is terminated under the provisions of this section, it shall be the responsibility of the public authority to immediately provide written notification of the termination by certified mail, return receipt requested, to all railroads operating over public highway-rail grade crossings within the quiet zone, the highway or traffic control authority or law enforcement authority having control over vehicular traffic at the crossings within the quiet zone, the landowner having control over any private crossings within the quiet zone, the State agency responsible for grade crossing safety, the State agency responsible for highway and road safety, and the Associate Administrator.

(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (e)(1) of this section, if a quiet zone is terminated under the provisions of this section, FRA shall also provide written notification to all parties listed in paragraph (e)(1) of this section.

(f) Requirement to sound the locomotive horn. Upon receipt of notification of quiet zone termination pursuant to paragraph (e) of this section, railroads shall, within seven days, and in accordance with the provisions of this part, sound the locomotive horn when approaching and passing through every public highway-rail grade crossing within the former quiet zone.

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