INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Supreme Court ruled local authorities can no longer fine train companies for stopping on the tracks and blocking traffic.
We spoke with local officials and residents tonight (Monday). They’re not too happy, especially those in Elkhart County.
The blocked crossing statute has been on the books since 1865.
It allowed police to fine train companies $200 for blocking traffic for more than 10 minutes, but after yesterday’s ruling, that all changed.
It’s an issue that the Elkhart County Sheriff’s office has been dealing with for years.
Back in 2014, they issued 200 citations to train companies for blocking traffic for long periods of time.
The Supreme Court justices ruled that the statue violated a federal statue that bans states from managing rail operations.
Elkhart Resident Debbie DeBoer says she often has to plan her time around the trains.
The Supreme Court said communities that are dealing with blocked crossings can contact the federal Surface Transportation Board. It oversees the railroads and can assist in dealing with rail companies that are constantly blocking traffic.