Substitute train bill passes Senate Rules Committee

By  | 

OKLAHOMA CITY (KXII) - House Bill 2472 failed in the Senate Transportation Committee Tuesday. A substitute bill was filed with the Oklahoma Senate Wednesday, and records show the substitute bill passed the Senate Rules Committee Thursday.

The substitute bill would cap the fine a rail company could pay at $5,000. House Bill 2472 originally capped the fine at $10,000.

The substitute bill also allows for exceptions to the fine such as recoupling after separation, stopping for red train signals and allowing passage of a second train.

McCall announced House Bill 2474 in February. The bill would impose a fine on rail companies for blocking railroad intersections with stopped trains for longer than 10 minutes.

The bill passed the House in February, but Tuesday the Senate Transportation Committee voted unanimously against the bill.

"Unfortunately, in the state of Oklahoma we just bowed to the train lobby, which is filled with out of state multinational corporations. Other states have much stricter regulations that we do. To say you voted against it because it is too harsh is a cop out," said Oklahoma House Majority Floor Leader Jon Echols.