Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

Key: (1) language to be deleted (2) new language

  

                         Laws of Minnesota 1990 

                        CHAPTER 468-H.F.No. 2401 
           An act relating to traffic regulations; increasing 
          from a petty misdemeanor to a misdemeanor the penalty 
          for driving past railroad crossing warning devices and 
          flaggers; providing a gross misdemeanor penalty for a 
          railroad crossing violation committed while 
          intoxicated; providing for instruction in railroad 
          crossing safety at driver improvement clinics; 
          establishing standards and procedures for closing a 
          railroad crossing; imposing penalties; amending 
          Minnesota Statutes 1988, sections 169.26; and 169.973, 
          subdivision 1; Minnesota Statutes 1989 Supplement, 
          section 169.121, subdivision 3; proposing coding for 
          new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 219; repealing 
          Minnesota Statutes 1988, sections 219.27 and 219.28.  
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
     Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1989 Supplement, section 
169.121, subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 3.  [CRIMINAL PENALTIES.] (a) A person who violates 
subdivision 1 or an ordinance in conformity with it is guilty of 
a misdemeanor. 
    (b) A person is guilty of a gross misdemeanor who violates 
subdivision 1 or an ordinance in conformity with it within five 
years of a prior impaired driving conviction, or within ten 
years of the first of two or more prior impaired driving 
convictions.  
    For purposes of this paragraph, a prior impaired driving 
conviction is a prior conviction under this section, section 
84.91, subdivision 1, paragraph (a), 169.129, 361.12, 
subdivision 1, paragraph (a), 609.21, subdivision 1, clause (2) 
or (3), 609.21, subdivision 2, clause (2) or (3), 609.21, 
subdivision 3, clause (2) or (3), 609.21, subdivision 4, clause 
(2) or (3), or an ordinance from this state, or a statute or 
ordinance from another state in conformity with any of them.  A 
prior impaired driving conviction also includes a prior juvenile 
adjudication that would have been a prior impaired driving 
conviction if committed by an adult.  
    (c) A person who violates subdivision 1a is guilty of a 
gross misdemeanor. 
    (d) The attorney in the jurisdiction in which the violation 
occurred who is responsible for prosecution of misdemeanor 
violations of this section shall also be responsible for 
prosecution of gross misdemeanor violations of this section.  
    When an attorney responsible for prosecuting gross 
misdemeanors under this section requests criminal history 
information relating to prior impaired driving convictions from 
a court, the court must furnish the information without charge. 
    (e) A person is guilty of a gross misdemeanor if the person 
violates section 169.26 while in violation of subdivision 1. 
    Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 169.26, is 
amended to read: 
    169.26 [SPECIAL STOPS AT RAILROADS.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [REQUIREMENTS.] (a) When any person driving 
a vehicle approaches a railroad grade crossing and a clearly 
visible electric or mechanical signal device gives warning of 
the immediate approach of a train, under any of the 
circumstances stated in this paragraph, the driver of such 
vehicle shall stop the vehicle not less than ten feet from the 
nearest railroad track of such railroad and shall not proceed 
until safe to do so.  These requirements apply when:  
    (1) a clearly visible electric or mechanical signal device 
warns of the immediate approach of a railroad train; 
    (2) a crossing gate is lowered warning of the immediate 
approach or passage of a railroad train; or 
    (3) an approaching railroad train is plainly visible and is 
in hazardous proximity.  
    (b) The driver of a vehicle shall stop and remain standing 
and not traverse such a the grade crossing when the crossing 
gate is lowered or when a human flagger gives or continues to 
give a signal of signals the approach or passage of a train.  No 
person may drive a vehicle past a flagger at a railroad crossing 
until the flagger signals that the way is clear to proceed.  
    Subd. 2.  [PENALTY.] A person who violates this section is 
guilty of a misdemeanor.  
    Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 169.973, 
subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
    Subdivision 1.  The commissioner of public safety shall 
supervise the administration and conduct of driver improvement 
clinics.  The commissioner of public safety shall promulgate 
rules setting forth standards for the curriculum and mode of 
instruction of driver improvement clinics and such other matters 
as the commissioner of public safety considers necessary for the 
proper administration of such clinics.  In the preparation of 
such standards the commissioner of public safety shall consult 
with the commissioner of education and state associations of 
judges.  A driver improvement clinic established under Laws 
1965, chapter 711 shall conform to the standards promulgated by 
the commissioner of public safety.  The course of study at a 
driver improvement clinic may not exceed a cumulative total of 
nine hours with no single class session lasting more than three 
hours.  The course of study at a driver improvement clinic shall 
include instruction in railroad crossing safety. 
    Sec. 4.  [219.073] [COMMISSIONER'S RULES ON GRADE 
CROSSINGS.] 
    In accordance with chapter 14, the commissioner of 
transportation shall adopt rules by December 1, 1991, that 
contain standards governing the establishment, vacation, 
relocation, consolidation, and separation of grades at public 
grade crossings.  In adopting standards, the commissioner shall 
consider that the number of grade crossings in this state should 
be reduced and that public safety will be enhanced by reducing 
the number of grade crossings.  
    Sec. 5.  [219.074] [GRADE CROSSING CHANGES.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [AGREEMENTS; HEARING.] Public officials 
having the necessary authority and a railway company operating 
the railroad may agree to the vacation, relocation, 
consolidation, or separation of grades at grade crossings.  If 
agreement cannot be reached concerning the location, manner of 
construction, or a reasonable division of expense, either party 
may file a petition with the board, setting forth the facts and 
submitting the matter to it for determination.  The board shall 
then conduct a hearing under chapter 14 and shall apply the 
rules developed under section 4 in coming to a determination.  
The commissioner may also bring matters concerning vacation, 
relocation, consolidation, or separation of grades at public 
grade crossings to the board for determination.  If the board 
determines that the vacation, relocation, consolidation, or 
separation is consistent with the standards adopted under 
section 4, the board may order the crossing vacated, relocated, 
consolidated, or separated.  
    Subd. 2.  [CROSSING VACATION PROGRAM.] On or before July 1, 
1992, and on or before July 1 of each of the next four years, 
and as necessary afterward, the commissioner shall propose to 
the board a list of grade crossings proposed to be vacated.  The 
list must be developed by applying the standards set forth in 
the rules adopted under section 4.  Grade crossings that are 
part of an abandonment, closing, or removal under section 
219.741, may not be included in the list.  The board shall 
notify the public officials having the necessary authority and 
the railway companies operating the railroads of the proposed 
vacations.  Either affected party may request a hearing.  If 
requested, the board shall hold a contested case hearing 
applying in its determination the rules developed under section 
4.  If after the hearing the board determines that the vacation 
is consistent with the standards adopted under section 4, it may 
order the crossing vacated.  If a request for a hearing on a 
particular crossing is not received within 30 days of the 
publication in the State Register, the board shall order the 
crossing vacated.  
    Sec. 6.  [REPEALER.] 
    Minnesota Statutes 1988, sections 219.27 and 219.28, are 
repealed.  
    Sec. 7.  [EFFECTIVE DATES.] 
    Sections 1 and 2 are effective August 1, 1990, and apply to 
violations committed on or after that date.  Sections 3 and 4 
are effective the day following final enactment.  Sections 5 and 
6 are effective December 1, 1991. 
    Presented to the governor April 19, 1990 
    Signed by the governor April 20, 1990, 10:56 a.m.