Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Safety isn't just a good idea...it's in the regulations!
Think of highway-rail grade crossings as a special type of intersection but one where the train
always has the right of way.
Most people are probably familiar with the "rules of the road" from their early driver training
but over time, they can begin to forget some of them. A useful refresher course for all truck
drivers is the
Commercial Drivers License (CDL) Manual, which provides information describing types
of grade crossings, warning signs and devices, and driving procedures.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) address highway-rail grade crossing safety
in Part 392 and Part 383.
Part 392 applies to drivers of all types of commercial motor vehicles. It was included in the
very first FMCSRs, issued in 1936.
Part 383 applies to drivers required to hold a CDL. CDL drivers are held to standards that go
beyond those for other CMV drivers. Table 3 of Section 383.51(d) lists the offenses and the
periods for which a driver must be disqualified, if the driver is convicted of operating a CMV
in violation of Federal, State, or local highway-grade crossing laws.
New Safety Regulations
On September 25, 2013, FMCSA and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration published a new regulation to prohibit a driver of a CMV or of a motor vehicle transporting certain hazardous materials or certain agents or toxins from entering onto a highway-rail grade crossing unless there is sufficient space to drive completely through the crossing without stopping. A copy of the Highway-Rail Grade Crossing; Safe Clearance rule is available online and as a downloadable PDF.
Check for new information at the main FMCSA
Rules and Regulations page.
State Laws and Regulations
States also have laws and regulations on grade-crossing safety. A traffic safety laws organization
called the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Laws and Ordinances (NCUTLO) has developed a
Law on highway-rail grade crossing safety for commercial motor vehicles.