HBA-ALS H.B. 2810 76(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 2810 By: Swinford Transportation 4/4/1999 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Under current law, a misdemeanor is committed by an employee of a railway company who wilfully obstructs a street or railroad crossing for more than five minutes. The current penalty for such an offense is the imposition of a fine between $5 and $100. The purpose of this bill is to make penalties harsher for blocking a roadway with a train. H.B. 2810 makes the act of wilfully obstructing a street, railroad crossing, or public highway for more than 10 minutes by allowing a train to stand on the crossing, a misdemeanor punishable by a fine between $500 and $1,000. In addition, this bill makes the refusal by a person to immediately clear a crossing, after being informed by a peace officer that an emergency situation requires the clearance, a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $1,500. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution. SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS SECTION 1. Amends Sections 471.007(a), (b), and (c), Transportation Code, as follows: (a) Provides that an officer, agent, servant, or receiver of a railway company commits an offense if the person: (1) wilfully obstructs for more than 10 minutes, rather than five, a street, railroad crossing, or public highway by permitting a train to stand on the crossing, or (2) refuses to clear the crossing immediately after being informed by a peace officer that an emergency situation requires it. (b) Provides that an offense under Subsection (a)(1) is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $500, or more than $1,000, rather than $5 or more than $100. Provides that an offense under Subsection (a)(2) is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $1,500 or more than $3,000. Makes nonsubstantive changes. (c) Requires an officer making an arrest for an offense under this section to prepare in duplicate a citation to appear in court showing the railroad company of which the person is an officer, agent, servant, or receiver, in addition to the name and address of the person; the offense charged; and the time and place the person is to appear in court. Makes nonsubstantive changes. SECTION 2.Effective date: September 1, 1999. Makes application of this Act prospective. SECTION 3. Emergency clause.