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§31-2-8. Warning of approach of train at crossings; crossing railroad tracks.

A bell or steam whistle shall be placed on each locomotive engine, which shall be rung or whistled by the engineer or fireman, at a distance of at least sixty rods from the place where the railroad crosses any public street or highway, and be kept ringing or whistling for a time sufficient to give due notice of the approach of such train before such street or highway is reached, and any failure so to do is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not exceeding $100; and the corporation owning or operating the railroad shall be liable to any party injured for all damages sustained by reason of such neglect. When the tracks, other than switch or sidetracks, of two railroads cross each other, or in any way connect at a common grade, the crossing shall be made and kept in repair, and watchmen maintained thereat at the joint expense of the companies owning the tracks; all trains or engines passing over such tracks shall come to a full stop not nearer than two hundred feet nor farther than eight hundred feet from the crossing and shall not cross until signaled so to do by the watchman, nor until the way is clear; and when two passenger or freight trains approach the crossing at the same time, the train on the road first built shall have precedence if the tracks are both main tracks over which all passengers and freights on the roads are transported; but if only one track is such main track, and the other is a side or depot track, the train on the main track shall have precedence; and if one of the trains is a passenger train and the other a freight train, the former shall take precedence; and regular trains on time shall take precedence over trains of the same grade not on time, and engines with cars attached not on time shall take precedence over engines without cars not on time: Provided, That if such two railroads crossing each other, or in any way connecting at a common grade, by works or fixtures to be erected by them render it safe to pass over such crossing without stopping, and such works and fixtures first be approved by the Public Service Commission of West Virginia, and the plan thereof for such crossing designating the plan of crossing has been filed with said commission and approved by it, the provisions of this section relating to railroad crossings shall not apply.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2017 Regular Session
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