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BILL AS INTRODUCED 2007-2008

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H.363

Introduced by Representatives Aswad of Burlington, Atkins of Winooski, Audette of S. Burlington, Bissonnette of Winooski, Branagan of Georgia, Condon of Colchester, Consejo of Sheldon, Fitzgerald of St. Albans City, Howard of Rutland City, Keogh of Burlington, Kitzmiller of Montpelier, Marek of Newfane, Masland of Thetford, Minter of Waterbury, Otterman of Topsham and Sharpe of Bristol

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject:  Transportation; railroads; trespass

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to set forth the elements which constitute the violation of railroad trespass and to assign penalties.

AN ACT RELATING TO RAILROAD TRESPASS

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  5 V.S.A. § 3734 is amended to read:

§ 3734.  TRESPASS ON RAILROAD PROPERTY; POSTING; PENALTY

(a)  A person who, without right, loiters or remains in a depot, or upon the platform, approaches or grounds adjacent thereto, after being requested to leave by a railroad policeman, sheriff, deputy sheriff, constable or policeman, shall be fined not more than $20.00 nor less than $2.00.  Trespass on railroad property means a person is present on railroad real property without lawful authority within 25 feet of or inside a shop, station, depot, warehouse, terminal, administrative building, tunnel, appurtenance, signal, communications structure or equipment, switch, or on a railroad bridge, overpass, viaduct or trestle, or on or in any equipment owned, leased, or used in the operation of any railroad, including a train, locomotive, engine, railroad car, work equipment, rolling stock, or who rides, leads, or drives an animal or operates or places a motor vehicle, motorcycle, snowmobile, all‑terrain vehicle, bicycle, or other device or obstruction on a railroad right‑of‑way, including a bridge, overpass, or any structure carrying a track within the right‑of‑way.

(b)  Nothing in this subchapter shall require a railroad to post its property against trespass.

(c)  Penalties.

(1)  A person who without lawful authority commits trespass shall be fined not less than $150.00 nor more than $1,000.00, and sentenced to up to 25 hours of community service, except as is further provided.

(2)  A person who without lawful authority operates or places a motor vehicle, snowmobile, motorcycle, all‑terrain vehicle or other device or obstruction on a railroad right‑of‑way, including a bridge, overpass, or any structure carrying a track within the right‑of‑way, other than within the limits of a highway or other authorized crossing at grade, shall be fined not less than $500.00 nor more than $2,000.00, and sentenced to up to 25 hours of community service.

(3)  A person who without lawful authority is present on a railroad right‑of‑way containing a rock cut who climbs, rappels or otherwise has or is using the rock surface for a recreational purpose shall be fined not less than $150.00 nor more than $500.00, and sentenced to up to 25 hours of community service.

(4)  A person who refuses to leave any railroad property after being requested to do so by a law enforcement officer, railroad police officer, or any agent of a railroad presenting proof of his or her agency shall be imprisoned for not more than 30 days and shall be fined not less than $500.00, nor more than $5,000.00.

(5)  A person boarding or riding without permission on a train, rail car, or locomotive, other than a passenger train, shall be imprisoned for not more than 30 days and shall be fined not less than $500.00, nor more than $5,000.00.

(6)  A person boarding or riding on a passenger train without paying a fare shall be subject to prosecution for theft of service pursuant to 13 V.S.A. § 2582, and may be prosecuted either at the place of boarding or disembarkation.

(d)  A person who trespasses on railroad property shall also pay the damages and legal costs sustained by any other person injured as a result of a violation of this section.

Sec. 2.  12 V.S.A. § 5792(2)(A)(i) is amended to read:

(2)(A)  “Land” means:

(i)  open and undeveloped land, including paths and trails, and railroad rights‑of‑way;

Sec. 3.  PUBLIC INFORMATION CAMPAIGN

The agency of transportation in conjunction with the governor’s highway safety council the railroad association of Vermont, and Vermont operation lifesaver shall develop a public education campaign about the dangers and consequences of trespassing on railroad property.  Interested parties shall be invited to participate in this process including, but not limited to, the Federal Railroad Administration, Association of American Railroads, Association of Shortline and regional Railroads, Amtrak, Department of Homeland Security, department of public safety, department of sheriffs and state’s attorneys, department of fish and wildlife, department of health, department of education, Vermont police association, Vermont association of chiefs of police, Vermont sheriffs association, Vermont coalition of fire and emergency services, Vermont association of snow travelers, Vermont federation of sportsmen, and Vermont all‑terrain vehicle sportsmen’s association.

Sec. 4.  REPEAL

The following sections of Title 5 are repealed:

(1)  § 3646 (driving animals or vehicle within limits of railroad);

(2)  § 3647 (allowing animal to be at large in roadway);

(3)  § 3725 (refusal to pay a fare); and

(4)  § 3735 (boarding train or loitering on railroad property).



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us