Florida Senate - 2016                                     SB 224
       By Senator Clemens
       27-00343-16                                            2016224__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to railroad walkways; creating s.
    3         351.39, F.S.; requiring railroad companies to provide
    4         walkways adjacent to certain sections of tracks by a
    5         specified date; specifying requirements for the
    6         walkways; authorizing the Department of Transportation
    7         to grant waivers under certain circumstances;
    8         requiring a party alleging a violation to make a
    9         reasonable, good faith attempt to address the alleged
   10         violation with the railroad company; authorizing the
   11         department to impose a fine; providing an effective
   12         date.
   14  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   16         Section 1. Section 351.39, Florida Statutes, is created to
   17  read:
   18         351.39 Railroad walkways.—
   19         (1) WALKWAYS REQUIRED.—By January 1, 2017, railroad
   20  companies must provide a reasonably safe and adequate walkway
   21  adjacent to the tracks where their employees are regularly
   22  required to walk in performance of their duties, including all
   23  switching areas, both within and beyond yard limits. For
   24  purposes of this subsection, the term “regularly” means at least
   25  2 days per week or one shift per day.
   26         (a) A walkway must have a minimum width of 2 feet.
   27         (b) A walkway must be surfaced with reasonably uniform
   28  asphalt, concrete, planking, grating, native material, crushed
   29  material, or other similar material.
   30         1. If crushed material is used, 100 percent of the material
   31  must be capable of passing through a 1 1/2-inch sieve opening
   32  and at least 90 percent of the material must be capable of
   33  passing through a 1-inch sieve opening. A de minimis variation
   34  is not a violation of this section if the company has made a
   35  good faith effort to comply with these percentage requirements.
   36         2. Smaller crushed material is preferable and should be
   37  used where drainage and durability issues do not arise. Material
   38  that is 3/4 inch or less in size is recommended for switching
   39  lead tracks.
   40         (c) A walkway must be maintained in a safe condition that
   41  does not compromise track drainage.
   42         1. A walkway must be kept reasonably free of trash, debris,
   43  spilled fuel oil, sand, posts, rocks, and other hazards or
   44  obstructions.
   45         2. Except for direct impingement of rain, wastewater or
   46  process water of any composition may not be allowed to flow onto
   47  or over a walkway.
   48         3. Encroachment of vegetation, such as weeds, brush, and
   49  tree limbs, must be controlled on sides of tracks generally to a
   50  distance of 8 feet from the center of the track, and overhead
   51  generally to a distance of 18 feet above the top of the rail.
   52  This subparagraph does not impose restrictions that are more or
   53  less stringent than the applicable federal regulations.
   54         (d) A walkway along a mainline or branch line track may not
   55  have surfaces below the base of the ballast section of the
   56  roadbed or above the top of the crossties. Cross slopes for a
   57  walkway may not exceed 1 inch of elevation for each 8 inches of
   58  horizontal length in any direction.
   59         (2) WAIVERS.—The Department of Transportation may authorize
   60  deviation from this section for any specific installation for
   61  good cause upon application by a railroad company. The
   62  application must include a full statement of the conditions
   63  prevailing at the time and place involved and reasons why the
   64  deviation is necessary.
   65         (3) ENFORCEMENT; FINES.—
   66         (a) A formal complaint of an alleged violation of this
   67  section may not be filed until the filing party has attempted to
   68  address the alleged violations with the railroad company. A
   69  formal complaint of an alleged violation of this section must
   70  contain a written statement that the filing party has made a
   71  reasonable, good faith attempt to address the alleged violation
   72  with the railroad company.
   73         (b) The Department of Transportation may impose a fine of
   74  up to $20,000 for a violation of this section. A separate
   75  violation occurs for each day the violation exists.
   76         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2016.