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TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 58-15-915 SO AS TO LIMIT THE TIME A TRAIN MAY BLOCK FOUR-LANE STREET INTERSECTIONS IN MUNICIPALITIES DURING CERTAIN PERIODS OF TIME.
Whereas, the Supremacy Clause of Article VI of the United States Constitution provides that the laws of the United States must be the supreme law of the land, notwithstanding a contrary provision of state law, and vests in Congress the power to preempt state law; and
Whereas, Congress enacted the Federal Railroad Safety Act (FRSA), 49 U.S.C. Section 20101, et seq., to regulate various railroad safety and transit matters; and
Whereas, the FRSA includes a preemption clause that provides railroad security laws be uniform to the extent possible, but providing a state may adopt a more stringent law necessary to eliminate or reduce an essentially local safety or security hazard, provided the law is not incompatible with a law, regulation, or order of the United States government, and does not unreasonably burden interstate commerce; and
Whereas, the General Assembly believes that Congress intended that the FRSA preempt all railroad safety legislation except state law governing an area in which the Secretary of Transportation has not issued a regulation or order and where the state law is stricter than federal regulations when necessary to address local problems; and
Whereas, the General Assembly finds no federal provision concerning specific time limits for which a train or locomotive may block a congested street or highway intersection; and
Whereas, consequently, the State of South Carolina may act to impose such time limits in the interest of motor safety in this State until superseded by federal law or regulations specific to this issue. Now, therefore,
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Article 9, Chapter 15, Title 58 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 58-15-915. A train operating in a municipality between the hours of 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., 12 p.m. to 2 p.m., and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. may not block a four-lane intersection of a public road for more than five minutes in a one hour period."
SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
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