553.01  OBSTRUCTING STREETS BY RAILROAD COMPANIES.
   (a)   No railroad company shall obstruct or permit or cause to  be obstructed a public highway, road or street by causing said highway, road or street to be obstructed via railroad gates or mechanical devices or by permitting railroad cars, locomotives, or any other obstructions to remain upon or across it for longer than five minutes to the hindrance or inconvenience of travelers or a person passing along said highway, road or street.  No railroad company shall fail, at the end of each five minute period of obstruction as aforesaid, to cause such railroad car or cars, locomotive or locomotives, or any other obstruction to be removed for sufficient time, not less than ten minutes, to allow the passage of persons and vehicles waiting to cross.
   This section does apply to obstructions caused by continuously moving through trains.  The aforesaid five minute time frame/period shall commence the moment the railroad company’s gates or mechanical arms or the railroad company’s flashers located at or upon the subject grade become activated through the moment said gates or mechanical arms cease causing said obstruction or person, traveler or vehicle from crossing said grade crossing. In the event said obstruction occurs at a grade crossing which is not protected by gates, mechanical arms or flashers, the aforesaid five minute time frame/period shall commence the moment the railroad company’s agent, employee, officer, locomotive or other mechanical devices advises or warns persons, travelers or vehicles to cease crossing the subject railroad tracks through the moment persons, travelers or vehicles are permitted to cross the subject railroad tracks.  This section does not apply to circumstances wholly beyond the control of the railroad company, but does apply to obstructions including, but not by way of limitation, those caused by  slow-moving locomotives, trains or other equipment, or by locomotives or trains engaged in switching, loading or unloading operations.
   Upon the filing of an affidavit or complaint for violation of this section, summons shall be issued to the railroad company pursuant to Ohio R.C. 2935.10(B), which summons shall be served on the individual or individuals employed by said railroad company causing said obstruction, or the regular ticket or freight agent or trainmaster or yardmaster or road foreman or other supervisor of the railroad company in Ashtabula County, Ohio.
 
   (b)   For the purposes of this section, “railroad company” includes the officers, employees and agents of such company.
 
   (c)   Whichever railroad company or whoever violates this section shall be guilty of an unclassified misdemeanor and shall be subject to the following: seven hundred fifty dollars ($750.00) for any blockages which occur for five minutes and an additional fifty dollars ($50.00) for each full minute thereafter in a total amount not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000).
(Ord. 2000-68.  Passed 6-19-00.)