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(A) As used in this section, ACTIVE GRADE CROSSING WARNING DEVICE means signs, signals, gates, or other protective devices erected or installed at a public highway-railway crossing at common grade and activated by an electrical circuit.
(B) The Department of Transportation and local authorities, with the approval of the Department, may designate dangerous highway crossings over railroad tracks and erect stop signs thereat.
(C) (1) The Department and local authorities shall erect stop signs at a railroad highway grade crossing in either of the following circumstances:
(a) New warning devices that are not active grade crossing warning devices are being installed at the grade crossing, and railroad crossbucks were the only warning devices at the grade crossing prior to the installation of the new warning devices.
(b) The grade crossing is constructed after July 1, 2013, and only warning devices that are not active grade crossing warning devices are installed at the grade crossing.
(2) Division (C)(1) of this section does not apply to a railroad highway grade crossing that the Director of Transportation has exempted from that division because of traffic flow or other considerations or factors.
(D) When stop signs are erected pursuant to division (B) or (C) of this section, the operator of any vehicle shall stop within 50, but not less than 15, feet from the nearest rail of the railroad tracks and shall exercise due care before proceeding across such grade crossing.
(E) Except as otherwise provided in this division, whoever violates division (D) of this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor. If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to one predicate motor vehicle or traffic offense, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree. If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of two or more predicate motor vehicle or traffic offenses, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.
(F) If the offender commits the offense while distracted and the distracting activity is a contributing factor to the commission of the offense, the offender is subject to the additional fine established under § 70.99(B).
(R.C. § 4511.61) (Rev. 2019)