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Freedom’s Just Another Word For Nothing Left To Lose


December 7, 2020

“Blocked train crossings indisputably have safety implications,” an Oklahoma federal judge wrote in his order…”but a statute that tells railroad companies how long they may stop their trains — for whatever ends — intrudes on the territory reserved to the Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act.” He then permanently barred the state from enforcing a law that prevented trains from blocking streets for longer than 10 minutes. The law applied only to stopped trains, and included exceptions. BNSF Railway challenged it after police officers issued citations over blocked streets. The first citation involved a blockage that lasted one hour and 20 minutes. Arguing in support of the law, Attorney General Mike Hunter highlighted safety issues, including one in which a paramedic had to jump between the cars of a stopped train to reach a patient in time to save her from anaphylactic shock.

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