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New Law Hopes To Fix Issue Of Stalled Trains In Oklahoma

Flickr / Robert Couse-Baker

A new law taking effect this week cracks down on stalled trains at intersections.

Under House Bill 2472, local officials can issue a fine of up to $1,000 if a train blocks traffic with a public highway or street for more than ten minutes.

Davis Police Chief Dan Cooper says a stalled train on Highway 7 recently meant his officers took 20 minutes to respond to a call two and a half blocks from his police station.

“We had to go across the tracks and there was a train on the tracks. We had to divert almost 12 miles round trip to get from point A to point B,” Cooper said.

Chief Cooper says, it’s not just about public safety, it’s also about public funds.

“We’ve had to build a second fire station on the west side of the tracks. And, Murray County EMS has had to place an ambulance station on the west side of the tracks just so that we can speed up the process,” he said.

Cooper says there are still details to work out with the Corporation Commission, but this gives him some bite in enforcement to get the trains moving again.

Michael Cross is the host of KOSU's Morning Edition.
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