81.01  Definitions

81.03  Obstructing Streets

81.02  Warning Signals

81.04  Crossing Maintenance

For use in this chapter, the following terms are defined:

1.                  “Operator” means any individual, partnership, corporation or other association that owns, operates, drives, or controls a railroad train.

2.                  “Railroad train” means an engine or locomotive, with or without cars coupled thereto, operated upon rails.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 321.1)

81.02   WARNING SIGNALS.  Operators shall sound a horn at least one thousand (1,000) feet before a street crossing is reached and after sounding the horn, shall ring the bell continuously until the crossing is passed.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 327G.13)

81.03   OBSTRUCTING STREETS.  Operators shall not operate any train in such a manner as to prevent vehicular use of any highway, street or alley for a period of time in excess of ten (10) minutes except:

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 327G.32)

1.         Comply with Signals.  When necessary to comply with signals affecting the safety of the movement of trains.

2.         Avoid Striking.  When necessary to avoid striking any object or person on the track.

3.         Disabled.  When the train is disabled.

4.         Safety Regulations.  When necessary to comply with governmental safety regulations including, but not limited to, speed ordinances and speed regulations.

5.         In Motion.  When the train is in motion except while engaged in switching operations.

6.         No Traffic.  When there is no vehicular traffic waiting to use the crossing. 

An employee is not guilty of a violation of this section if the employee’s action was necessary to comply with the direct order or instructions of a railroad corporation or its supervisors.  Guilt is then with the railroad corporation.

81.04   CROSSING MAINTENANCE.  Operators shall construct and maintain good, sufficient and safe crossings over any street traversed by their rails.

(Bourett vs. Chicago & N.W. Ry. 152 Iowa 579, 132 N.W. 973 [1943])

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 364.11)