City Says Call 911 To Report Trains Blocking Streets For More Than 10 Minutes In OKC
The City of Oklahoma City says residents can call 911 to report trains that are blocking Oklahoma City streets for more than 10 minutes.
Oklahoma City police will file a report for violations of the new state law which defines how long stopped trains can block roads.
Railroad operators can be fined by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission for violations.
City officials say the Oklahoma City Police Department is training officers in how to report the violations.
House Bill 2472 allows stopped trains to block roads for up to 10 minutes in some cases and 20 minutes in others, with exceptions for emergencies and other necessary train operations, according to officials.
“People are going to and from work. They have lunch breaks. They have obligations. I mean, it’s a Tuesday. It’s not a weekend where people are just hanging out. Like, people have to get to and from work,” said Madysson Morris, who was stopped by train Tuesday.
James Chatman, who was also stopped said, “This is daily. Around the same time. I’d just like it to stop. (It) Makes people late for work sometimes.”
“Call 911,” said Officer Megan Morgan with the Oklahoma City Police Department. “Have an officer come out and be willing to speak with that officer as well.”
Oklahoma City police said the Corporation Commission will investigate, and they could issue an $1,000 ticket.
“The officers will take the information from the train, from the citizens, how long the train has been stopped there and any other determining factors that may go into a report,” said Morgan.
Officers said this isn’t just about inconvenience. They said blocking intersections could be a matter of life and death.
“We need access to these intersections for emergency purposes. Firefighters. EMSA. Police. We need to be able to access these intersections and we realize that citizens need to be able to access these intersections as well,” said Morgan.
News 9 did reach out to BNSF railroad. They said they do not comment on ongoing legal matters.