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Route 126 Railroad Crossing Enforcement Set for Sept. 12

Crackdown will take place on Route 126 west of Route 59 from 4 to 8 p.m.

Editor's note: The following is taken from a press release issued by the :

In conjunction with the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railroad Police, Canadian National Railroad Police, CSX Railroad Police and the Union Pacific Railroad Police, the Plainfield Police Department will be conducting an enforcement detail at the highway railroad grade crossing located on Route 126 (Main Street), just east of Route 59 from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 12.

The focus of the enforcement detail will involve citing drivers that disobey activated railroad signals, stop their vehicle within the highway railroad grade crossing, and the citing of drivers of certain vehicles who fail to stop as required at railroad crossings, such as school buses and placarded vehicles. In addition, pedestrian trespassing on the railroad right of way will also be enforced.

Not only is it against the law to stop your vehicle on the railroad tracks, it is also against the law to stop your vehicle anywhere within the highway railroad grade crossing. Highway railroad grade crossings are typically marked by white stop lines located on the pavement in advance of the crossing, and if not marked by white stop lines, the highway railroad grade crossing extends from protective gate arm to protective gate arm.

Upon conviction, anyone cited for stopping on railroad tracks driving a passenger vehicle will have their driver’s license suspended for 30 days for the first offense, and three months for the second offense.  Anyone driving a vehicle required to stop at all times at railroad crossings will have their commercial driver’s license disqualified for three months.

All violations of the Illinois Vehicle Code mentioned above bring with them a mandatory court appearance with fines and court costs up to $750.  

Jacob September 08, 2012 at 01:48 PM
Who cares, OVERKILL..........
Jacob September 08, 2012 at 01:50 PM
Why does there have to be a press release on every enforcement with these RR? How has the Village Board, mayor or Chief not cancelled some these details
Tom H September 08, 2012 at 02:00 PM
Another school shooting close to our area. Normal Community HS, 14yr fires off rounds, no one hit.
Tim September 08, 2012 at 02:21 PM
When is the Police Chief finally going to present the report to the village on the safety concerns with this crossing? It is getting downright pathetic watching the priorities of this department to issue tickets, instead of working to upgrade the tracks to ACTUALLY make them safer. It is becoming clear that issuing revenue-generating tickets, is a higher priority to John Konopek than the safety of the residents in town. Combined with the disaster of a policy to install rifles in schools, this chief has lost the trust of many residents to perform the basic duties of his job.
T-Bone September 08, 2012 at 02:37 PM
Hopefully they ran and got the Long Rifle! Oh they didn't need it? Ok...
Ed Arter September 08, 2012 at 03:03 PM
Sounds like the CN needs to do something about THEIR crossing and THEIR Insurance Regulations/Standards and THEIR load widths and THEIR train speeds and THEIR signalization and THEIR signage before we get down to OUR enforcement. Seems backwards that OUR enforcement is a benefit to all of THEIR issues. The cost of Excessive Time spent on enforcement should be a cost directly to CN and not to the driving public via inflated citations. Our police have the safety of our citizens as a top priority but it seems that CN is the excessive complainant requiring these over blown actions ($) by others -- the good people of Plainfield. If someone complains to the police about a safety issue, no matter how minor/sever, it is the sworn duty for the Police to respond with action. If we want the Ticket marathon to be reduced then CN needs to minimize pushing the police to act---for something that ultimately benefits CN Insurance Costs. Again, IT"S A CN ISSUE to resolve.
Tom H September 08, 2012 at 03:31 PM
Go to a meeting and express your concerns, I would like to know if this have been done yet. I usually check the online meeting minutes and have not seen anything on this matter.
JeffK September 08, 2012 at 03:39 PM
So you are saying that CN calls the police dispatch directly reporting this safety issue? That is the only instance that would require an officer to respond to the call. Any other instance comes down to an administrative decision, the PD and village just need a backbone. The village is not legally required to do these crack downs. That is just a flat out lie. The village is making $. If it was truly about safety they would be there directing traffic or at the very least hand out warnings. I guess you miissed the first couple articles were Plainfield PD and CN were talking group photos celebrating their achievements at theses crack downs. CN isn't going to resolve anything as long as the village does the dirty work.
Terry M September 08, 2012 at 04:00 PM
There has to be some kind of kickback for the Village, this detail occurs every 3-4 weeks.
Ed Arter September 08, 2012 at 04:11 PM
Thanks Jeff, My point was "CN isn't going to resolve anything as long as the village does the dirty work"; and the dirty work is writing tickets. CN needs to clean their own house .
Tim September 08, 2012 at 05:05 PM
The minimum fine is $250, as set forth by Illinois; http://www.dot.state.il.us/blr/p027.pdf (page 8) "(e) It is unlawful to violate any part of this Section. A first conviction of a person for a violation of any part of this Section shall result in a mandatory fine of $250" Anything above that, could be the amount going to the municipality issuing the ticket. According to this article, including other costs, tickets in Plainfield are $750. At most, the village is getting $500 per ticket, although if I had to make a closer estimation including other court fees, I would say it is between $250-$350 per ticket going to the village. To be clear, that is only an estimate. Given the behavior of this chief, I fully expect him to propose adding an automated camera system similar to red-light cameras, at this railroad crossing. This will be the telling moment of his true motivations to any doubters, because it would show once and for all that the task work within the department is being directed to increase revenue, instead of safety.
Tim September 08, 2012 at 05:08 PM
The way this is supposed to be handled(and has been in dozens of surrounding towns and cities) is for the police chief to present a report on the traffic conditions and problems to the village board, who then uses this data to put together a comprehensive plan to present to the ICC, who then has the authority to demand such improvements as the following; http://www.icc.illinois.gov/railroad/crossingsafetyimprovement.aspx "Interconnects: Upgrading the circuitry at grade crossings where warning signals are connected to the adjacent traffic signals so that the two systems operate in a synchronized manner;" The ICC has the authority to compel the railroad to contribute to the funding of these improvements to avoid sinking the costs exclusively on the local municipality. This single improvement would ACTUALLY improve the safety at this crossing, yet it has not been done. The chief has done NOTHING to keep the area up to the same level of safety as the surrounding areas. For his sake, I hope he wises up on the duties of government officials, or he could be looking at a petition to get him removed from office, instead of just a petition to remove his out-of-touch policies.
Stephane Carlson September 08, 2012 at 08:29 PM
Um, it's not just Plainfield that feels like doing this. Plainfield has jurisdiction over traffic on 126...so... "In conjunction with the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railroad Police, Canadian National Railroad Police, CSX Railroad Police and the Union Pacific Railroad Police,"... Geez I've never heard so much whining over nothing!
Tim September 08, 2012 at 09:08 PM
In order for the Plainfield police to be able to write these tickets, the owners of the property have to be on site as well. The owners of the railroad crossing and easement are exactly the other companies you mentioned. Now you know why they are there.
Ed Arter September 08, 2012 at 09:57 PM
@ Tim S--interconnect an additional signal, w/photo enforcement abilities, with traffic signal Controller @ 59 = good idea ; at CN's cost and maintance. Violation $ go to us?
Ed Arter September 08, 2012 at 10:05 PM
The "radar" type controller recently installed at Essington and 126 is proving to a great tool for this application. If this technology can control 70MPH traffic exiting Rt 55 it should be able to do a flow prediction/anticipation at the tracks and signal advancing vehicular traffic properly. Again, CN's Tab.
Ram Seichert September 08, 2012 at 10:19 PM
Ed Arter for Plainfield Township Highway Commissioner April 2013!!!
Stephane Carlson September 08, 2012 at 10:40 PM
Thank you for clarifying; I already knew that. Now, what the article doesn't state was whom wanted the crossing detail in the first place. Is it just an assumption that it was PPD? Could it not be the other way around? Meanwhile, I don't see how anyone can blame the police for the stupidity of drivers who can't even follow the law, let alone the rules of the road. And since when is revenue for the village a bad thing?
PfieldJim September 08, 2012 at 10:58 PM
In my opinion, these enforcement details are needed? People are continually forewarned, multiple tickets get issued every time, yet people are still stopping on the tracks! I live on Rt 126, so I drive across those tracks nearly every day. Like everyone else, I get stopped by the lights, but am smart enough to know where to stop and if I can get across the tracks to a safe, and legal, position. Quite often, however, I see people stopped, not only in striped area, but many are literally sitting ON THE TRACKS! These people deserve to be written tickets to make them think about the stupidity of their actions. (A ticket seems like a better alternative to a toe tag!)
JeffK September 09, 2012 at 03:52 AM
I love all of you who are so against those who don't follow traffic laws. As if all of you have never gone a mile over the speed limit. Did you run to the PD and turn yourself in and demand a ticket? There is nothing wrong with revenue, it's how it's brought in. Should we bring back parking permits because it's revenue? Keep raising taxes? There are ways to generate revenue without setting people up. Also this revenue is being brought by our PD whose first job is to protect and serve, not be a cash register for the village.
BP September 09, 2012 at 07:47 AM
So go to city hall and do a Freedom of Information for all railroad projects the city has to sign off on. It's a very legal like deal. Then file charges on the cops for allowing massive theft (At least $1.5 million I see in ICC records) of public paid for signals. Plainfield must be circle jerk central for the state railroad cops who will use these numbers while the RRs are being sued for deaths/injuries elsewhere. The equipment ---a corrupt us supreme court put the tab on the tax-payers decades ago ---NO BIDS and overcharges out the ying yang. http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/legsregs/directives/notices/n4510743t1.htm
BP September 09, 2012 at 07:54 AM
Dear Mr. P Thank you for your interest in railway-highway crossing safety. Each state is required to track the dollars spent on railway-highway crossing projects and also report on the effectiveness of the program. This is required per the United States Code, Section 130. If you would like to review a report to see which projects were completed, please let us know which state and year you are interested in and we will send that information to you. If you have any additional questions please feel free to contact our office. Thank you, FHWA Office of Safety Safety.fhwa@dot.gov From: bob todd Sent: Friday, July 20, 2012 1:31 AM To: FHWA, ExecSecretariat (FHWA) Subject: Railroad crossing fraud http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/legsregs/directives/notices/n4510743t1.htm Could someone explain why most state STIPs for their share of the railroad crossing budget is a fricking lump sum with NO statement of railroad crossing numbers or projects??? $220 million and the FHWA has no clue where it goes. No wonder people are murdered by trains EVERYDAY at unprotected crossings. What the railroads don't steal in overcharges the state people steal because NOBODY keeps tabs.
BP September 09, 2012 at 08:08 AM
http://www.fra.dot.gov/ Alleged Violation Reporting Form I made a complaint that all 10 of the Illinois RR cops are hanging in Plainfield with pedestrians all over the state on railroad property they do nothing about until they are killed and then the victims become dirty rotten trespassers.
my conscience September 09, 2012 at 07:08 PM
Tim/JeffK/Conservative ad naseum: you don't represent the values of the citizens of the Village of Plainfield. The police do good work. You are a continuing embarrassment to our community and deserve our ridicule rather than our support.

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