Railroad crossings are some of the most dangerous road intersections for any motorist. Due to their weight and speed, trains make any collision they cause deadly. This is why Virginia has rules preventing drivers from taking any reckless actions around railway crossings because it takes just one mistake to cause a fatal train crash.
Truckers and other commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders are also governed by state traffic rules forbidding careless driving in and around railway crossings. What are truckers prohibited from doing in these intersections, and what are the penalties for violation?
Railroad crossing violations for truckers
If truckers or CDL holders commit the following actions at a railway crossing, they’re violating Virginia’s traffic laws:
- Not slowing down or stopping at a railroad crossing
- Not leaving any space for other vehicles to drive through a railroad crossing
- Disobeying traffic lights or an enforcement officer at the crossing
- Not accounting for a truck’s undercarriage clearance if it strikes the rails at a crossing
CDL holders that commit any of these violations will have four demerit points assessed to their license toward a suspension. In addition, their licenses will be immediately disqualified by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) following the violation.
The length of the CDL disqualification is dependent on the number of times the trucker violated railroad crossing rules:
- First offense: 60-day license disqualification
- Second offense within three years: Disqualification for 120 days
- Third offense within three years: A one-year disqualification
The strict rules around railroad crossings are there to protect motorists from accidents. Truckers must also abide by these rules, or the state DMV will disqualify their driving privileges.