Sec. 471.001. DUTY TO MAINTAIN CROSSINGS. (a) A railway company shall maintain the part of its roadbed and right-of-way that is crossed by a public street of a Type B general-law municipality in proper condition for use by travelers.

(b) A railway company that does not make needed repairs before the 31st day after the date the municipal marshal gives written notice to the section boss of the section where repairs are needed is liable to the municipality for a penalty of $25 for each week the railway company does not make needed repairs. The municipality may sue to recover the penalty.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 471.002. SIGNS AT CROSSINGS. (a) A railway company shall place at each place where its railroad crosses a first or second class public road a sign with large and distinct letters giving notice that the railroad is near and warning persons to watch for railroad cars. The sign must be high enough above the road to permit the free passage of vehicles.

(b) A railway company that does not erect a sign required by Subsection (a) is liable for a resulting injury to a person or resulting damage to property.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 471.004. WARNING SIGN VISIBILITY AT RAILROAD GRADE CROSSINGS. (a) The department shall develop guidelines and specifications for the installation and maintenance of reflecting material at each unsignaled crossing. The material shall be affixed to the back and support post of each crossbuck in a manner that reflects light from vehicle headlights to focus attention on the presence of the unsignaled crossing.

(b) The department shall pay the cost of initial installation of reflecting material from money appropriated to the department to maintain grade crossing warning devices. The department or the local jurisdiction responsible for maintaining the roadway at each grade crossing shall pay the maintenance costs of the material.

(c) The state, an agency or political subdivision of the state, or a railway company is not liable for damages caused by an action taken under this section or failure to perform a duty imposed by this section. Evidence may not be introduced in a judicial proceeding that reflecting material exists or that the state or railway company relies on the material.

(d) The department shall adopt rules governing the installation and maintenance of reflecting material at grade crossings.

(e) A railway company shall permit department personnel to affix the reflecting material on the company's property.

(f) In this section:

(1) "Active warning device" means an automatically activated warning device, including a bell, flashing light, gate, or wigwag.

(2) "Crossbuck" means a standard grade crossing warning sign designated as Number R 15-1 and described in the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices issued by the United States Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration.

(3) "Department" means the Texas Department of Transportation.

(4) "Grade crossing" means the intersection at grade of a railroad and a roadway constructed and maintained with public money.

(5) "Reflecting material" means material that reflects light so that the paths of the reflected light rays are parallel to those of the incident rays.

(6) "Unsignaled crossing" means a grade crossing not protected by active warning devices.

(7) "Warning device" means a traffic control sign, including an active warning device or crossbuck, the purpose of which is to alert motorists of a grade crossing.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 471.005. DISMANTLING OF WARNING SIGNALS AT RAILROAD GRADE CROSSINGS; OFFENSE. (a) A person may not dismantle a warning signal at a grade crossing on an active rail line, as defined by rule of the Texas Department of Transportation, if the cost of the warning signal was originally paid entirely or partly from public money unless the person:

(1) obtains a permit from the governmental entity that maintains the road or highway that intersects the rail line at the grade crossing; and

(2) pays that governmental entity an amount equal to the present salvage value of the warning signal, as determined by the governmental entity.

(b) The governmental entity shall grant the permit if:

(1) payment is received; and

(2) the entity finds that removal of the warning signal will not adversely affect public safety.

(c) Money received under Subsection (a)(2) shall be deposited in the state treasury.

(d) This section does not apply to a Class I or Class II railroad, as defined by Interstate Commerce Commission regulations.

(e) A person commits an offense if the person violates this section. An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor.

(f) The Texas Department of Transportation may adopt rules necessary to administer this section.

(g) In this section:

(1) "Grade crossing" has the meaning assigned by Section 472.004(f).

(2) "Warning signal" means a traffic control device that is activated by the approach or presence of a train, including a flashing light signal, an automatic gate, or a similar device that displays to motorists a warning of the approach or presence of a train.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.


(1) "Grade crossing" and "reflecting material" have the meanings assigned by Section 471.004.

(2) "Pavement markings" means markings applied or attached to the surface of a roadway to regulate, warn, or guide traffic.

(3) "Stop bar" means the marking that is applied or attached to the surface of a roadway on either side of a grade crossing and that indicates that a vehicle must stop at the grade crossing.

(b) A county or municipality shall use standards developed by the department in applying pavement markings or a stop bar at a grade crossing if the cost of the markings or stop bar is paid either entirely or partly from state or federal funds. In developing its standards, the department shall follow the standards in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices issued by the United States Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration and, where appropriate, require the use of reflecting materials.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 85 (S.B. 1540), Sec. 2.06, eff. April 1, 2011.