Trains to be given $1,000 fines for blocking intersections…

In the span of two hours as I moved my apartment from the south side to the north side, I was caught behind two parked trains. Each of these bullshit behemoths took over 20 minutes to move.

This was why I was thrilled to see lawmakers take action against the cargo cucks. Unfortunately, my hopes didn’t last forever.

Via the Oklahoman:

A substitute bill that would authorize local law officers to cite train owners or operators for blocking a road-rail intersection for longer than 10 minutes without good reason cleared Oklahoma’s House of Representatives on Monday.

The House approved a version of the measure that came out of a conference committee with a greatly reduced proposed maximum fine by an 82-to-3 vote.

Uhm, who the hell are the three people that voted no? Sadists, perhaps? Traffic-loving losers who enjoy listening to their audio books? People taking the long way home in order to avoid their spouses? Morons who played too much Railroad Tycoon?

Also, please explain the “greatly reduced fine.” How much is Mr. Caboose going to have to pay for blocking the road?

Like the bill’s original version, the proposed law would authorize local police, deputy sheriffs and highway patrol troopers to issue citations to train operators for lengthy intersection blockages. But it reduces the maximum fine that could be imposed to $1,000 per violation….

Initially, the House bill proposed a maximum fine of $10,000 for citations where the operator had been found to have violated the law. The Senate version, which had to be considered by committees on that side twice before it advanced, cut that to $5,000.

The committee substitute the House approved Monday not only reduces the maximum fine, it also requires citations to be heard by an administrative law judge at the corporation commission, with a caveat that a judge’s finding could be appealed to elected commissioners.

Only $1,000? I’m sure that’s going to intimidate these big companies that do billions of dollars in revenue! That would be like playing Monopoly and bragging that you got the richest player to pay rent on the Reading Railroad.

Seriously, what a joke. Before 1964, Oklahoma was one of the more democratic, progressive states in the union. And now, we’re negotiating terms with train conglomerates and oil barons like it’s a hostage situation.

Oklahoma legislature, you need to get your groove back.

Make decisions that benefit all of us. For starters, let’s try imposing the original $10,000 on the train companies. What are they going to do, choose a different track? Be assertive and tell their antiquated transporting asses to get in gear or pay the price.

The only trains he likes are the crazy ones. Follow Brandon on Twitter @notshabbywriter and Instagram @brandonking1994.

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24 Responses

  1. $1000 Fine to the train folks, is alot like when you get pulled over and given a $20 no seatbelt ticket.

  2. I hate those fucking trains, but it really isn’t their fault. If our city streets had been updated even once since like 1904 there would be bridges over the dams tracks.

    1. Amen to that. There are precious few intersections where the road goes over or under the train tracks like it should.

    2. I used to live on a ranch in Arizona and had to cross over a RR track to get home. I lived in Red Rock which is 28 miles west of Tucson. One day the RR guardrails were down and the train was just sitting there not moving. After about 20 minutes I had my granddaughter look up the name of Union Pacific on her Iphone. She got me the number and I called them and complained…”Why do your trains always park where they block the crossing?” I told him were I was and explained that this was not the first time this happened. He said “Lady if it weren’t for the railroad there would be no Tucson. I told him “I DO NOT LIVE IN TUCSON!!!” He hung up on me. The moral of this story for me was/is the railroad can do whatever the hell they want to do.

  3. Good deal. Monday i got caught on Western and Hefner for 45 minutes. Then i pulled out and took a different route taking me farther out of my way. This was morning rush hour i have no idea how long it stayed after i left

  4. Brandon, get with the program!

    America is finally figuring out that all these outdated, burdensome, and job-killing regulations are what have been destroying our capitalist way of life and tanking our economy. A patriotic Oklahoman wouldn’t mind being inconvenienced for a few minutes while a vital industry keeps the lifelines of commerce moving. Well, mostly moving, even if it blocks the roads sometimes.

    It’s GOOD that we passed an intersection-blocking bill that contains only baby teeth. Here’s why: the bill will (mostly) sound good to whiny motorists, let legislators argue that they took effective action on the problem, while costing the mighty railroad industry only a pittance in the grand scheme of their service to commerce and trade. It will be only a tiny additional cost of doing business for them.

    It’s how we roll, baby! Capitalism forever! Deport the dirty socialists!

    PS: Oklahoma was indeed a “Big D Democratic” state before 1964, but one should not make the mistake of equating pre-1964 Oklahoma Dixiecrats with today’s Democratic Party.

    Was Oklahoma “progressive” and “small d democratic” until 1964, when the Civil Rights Movement drove the Dixiecrats into the arms of the Republicans and their “southern strategy”?


    1. Yes, Brandon should’ve paid a little more attention in history class. I’m sure he’s shocked that his current belief system ( D good, R bad) and all it represents hasn’t always been so. My suggestion is he do a little research into the Oklahoma Dixiecrats.

      The rest of the response, blaming capitalism, is crap.

      1. I had not picked up on Brandon’s “current belief system,” other than his willingness to criticize moneyed interests’ indifference to the welfare of OKC commuters. What is the source of your info, other than the very fact of Brandon’s employment of a left-wing rag like TLO that you so much enjoy?

        What about my comment did you find to be “crap”? Please be specific.

        1. Crickets. Hmm……

    2. This is not how we roll .More like how the ppl have allowed the greedy, self serving crooks to crap on us without a fight. It’s ridiculas. They all need to be kicked out. Ok would be in better shape running on MacDonalds coupons than those blood suckers

  5. The “good reason” clause is going to be what gets them out of the fine. And most trains are stopped for a good reason. If they aren’t delivering the freight, they aren’t making money. People expecting change from this law are dreaming.

  6. And then I get the ticket for beating the train as the flashing red lights send the signal to motorists to speed up!!! This is just so unfair! 😂😂😂

    1. It’s all about who’s blowing who right now..nothing more .
      Drain the urinal

  7. The three who voted against it were:

    Jim Grego (R) District-17 McAlister
    John Waldron (D) District 77 Owasso
    Collin Walke (D) District 87 Warr Acres

    Two Democrats, one Republican, two from urban areas, one rural. Perhaps special interest money from the companies that own the trains, or perhaps these three love to sit for long stretches of time and watch the trains sit in front of the road.

    Would love to know why they chose to vote no, but the Oklahoma Standard prohibits the voters from questioning those they elected.

    1. My rep is Walke, and I’ve emailed him numerous times about the way he’s voted or is planning to vote on bills and he’s always answered.

      1. I would be interested in why he voted against it, but don’t live in his district. It would be great for you to post his response.

    2. All the ones that have been covering up the sewer leaking into our water. Even after it’s out they refuse to say when it will be fixed.. They don’t feel like the ppl deserve explaination.
      Hangv em high

  8. Once again our Rethuglican led state legislature has shown who they represent .. We the people ???? No way in hell… They represent the large corporations that feed them shovelfuls of money under the table…. I’m not sure why any of us surprised anymore we should change our state name from Oklahoma to Kocklandia in honor of the Koch brothers who have written most of our recent laws.

  9. The bill is nonsense. It is a misdirection play apparently aimed at “fans of politicians.”

    States do not have the authority to fine trains. Period. End of story. Republicans WANTED “government that didn’t have the power to govern” — so they “deregulated” things. When the old Interstate Commerce Commission was done away back in the 90s, any claim states had to a say with railroads engaged in Interstate Commerce left with it. Yep. “Deregulation.”

    Prior to the deregulation of railroads begun by The Staggers Act in 1980 / 81, 40 Class 1 railroad companies competed across the nation – both with each other and with massively subsidized intercity trucking operating over highways owned and maintained by the taxpayers. Today there are four major Class 1s remaining — huge, unwieldy but tremendously powerful mega-monopolies. Meanwhile, trucking still comes nowhere near accurately repaying the costs its operations inflict on public highways — and ever-faithful (to the special interests) lawmakers have no intention of ever making it do so. In Oklahoma, the heavy truck which at legal weights inflicts pavement damage up to 9,600 times that imposed by any automobile paid three-cents-per-gallon LESS state fuel tax than the auto operator paid from 1986 until last year when both gasoline and diesel tax were raised “for education” – the numbers now falling “even.” Of course a damage ratio of near 10,000-to-1 might require a little more repayment than “coming even with automobile fuel tax.”

    Oddly, meanwhile, those hated trains save public streets, highways and bridges from millions of ton-miles of heavy-freight abuse each year – on steel roads they, themselves own which actually PAY taxes supporting the general services of government. Public roads don’t do that — and turnpikes SURE don’t do it.

    Turns out it falls to local, county and state governments to initiate the underpassing or overpassing of public roads across privately owned-and-operated rail corridors which predate even most of the towns and cities of the state. Turns out that the only effective answer to the problem of constant increases in rail traffic is just such overpasses and underpasses — and that the real blame for all of this conflict between street and rail traffic falls directly on the governments now trying to blame the railroads. And still — NO PROGRAM from state government providing funding and improved, standardized planning for rapid creation of “grade-separated road crossings” at the state’s many, many currently-at-grade railroad crossings.

    The story of the current traffic increases on the nation’s rail lines and massive resultant congestion is actually somewhat more complex than my explanation above — but nothing in those further details in any way conflicts with my observations and conclusions. City and county governments in this state are poorly run – and leading these entirely predictable debacles is the largest gathering of heedless, special-interest-puppeteered hacks in the state, our “honorable state legislature” — not to mention our new governor who’s “such a firmly-grounded and inveterate Oklahoman” that he pronounced Skiatook “SKEE-uh-tuke” while reporting on his tour of storm damage today.

    Considering the quality of personnel entrusted with the public’s business, it’s a good thing that the railroads, at least, still know how to railroad. And you can be pretty certain that nobody from hacksville is going to be pushing them around much.

    1. Stop trying to defend the trains that block traffic for hours. A fucking train in Moore was literally stopped for DAYS, blocking SE 4th street. There’s no excuse for that to happen as frequently as it does. The train people fucked up and they need to be penalized.

      No doubt, trains provide a valuable service for the country, but the blocking of roadways in the OKC metro is ludicrous. No other major city has this issue. And it’s not just some minor inconvenience…emergency vehicles can’t get to an emergency ( or can’t get an injured person to the hospital) because of this horse shit.

    2. But they will screw/disrespect the common man in an instant

  10. Worked for the ATSF;BNSF RR for 38 years, the train crew has no control, over how the Dispatcher in Ft. Worth decides how to run the trains. It’s not the Engineer, or the Conductor, the delay is caused by management decisions somewhere else.

  11. I live in southern Arizona. Used to have to cross the tracks when I lived near Red Rock. It really used to piss me off when I had to wait long periods to cross the tracks because that is where the train was parked…just sitting there. The railroad has the whole damn desert to park their trains why stop them where there are track crossings? I called the railroad and complained. The smart ass on the other line said “If it weren’t for the railroad there would be no Tucson”!! I had to remind him that I did not live in *!*^^%**% Tucson! And told he again where I lived…he hung up on me…damn railroad people.

  12. “This was why I was thrilled to see lawmakers take action against the cargo cucks.”

    That word. I don’t think it means what you think it means, Brandon.

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