(A) If, after public hearing as to the necessity for installing protective devices at a public railroad highway grade crossing, written notice of which is published once a week for three consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the crossing is located and is given the railroad and public authority involved at least thirty days in advance of such hearing, it is the opinion of the public utilities commission that the public safety requires a gate, automatic alarm bell, or other mechanical device to be erected and maintained at any place where a public road or street is crossed at the same level by a railroad, and the crossing has been declared by the commission to be so dangerous and hazardous as to require additional protective devices, or the public safety requires that a flagman be stationed and maintained at such crossing, the commission shall give the superintendent, manager, or other officer in charge of such railroad a written order of what is required, and shall assign the cost of installing any such device between the railroad and the public in any proportion it determines proper that is consistent with any applicable federal requirements, after giving due consideration to the factors listed in division (B) of this section.
(B) In assigning the cost of any such device the commission shall consider factors of volume of vehicular traffic, volume of train traffic, train type and speed, limitations of view and the causes thereof, savings, if any, which will inure to the railroad as the result of the installation, benefits to the public resulting from the reduction of hazard at the crossing, the probable cost of the installation, the future cost to the railroad of maintaining any such device, and any other special factors and conditions that the commission considers relevant. The commission may accept a railroad's agreement to maintain the installation as being its share of the cost for the protection. If any part of the cost is assigned to the public, it shall be apportioned to the state agency or political subdivision having jurisdiction over such crossing, and may be paid from any funds levied and made available for highway or street purposes; provided, that funds from the grade crossing protection fund created by section 4907.472 of the Revised Code may be used to pay the public's share of the cost. After the commission has issued an appropriate order requiring that additional protective devices be installed by a specific date, which shall be a reasonable time from the date of the order, the railroad concerned shall erect or install the additional protective devices or station the flagman within the time prescribed by the order. If the additional protective devices are not erected or installed within that time, the commission may reduce or eliminate the amount of any funds in the grade crossing protection fund obligated to pay the public's share of the costs relating to the erection, installation, and maintenance of the additional protective devices and, consistent with any applicable federal requirements, may assign to the railroad concerned any amount, up to one hundred per cent, of the total amount of the costs of erecting, installing, and maintaining the additional protective devices. Any person owning or operating a railroad and neglecting or refusing to erect or maintain such gate, automatic alarm bell, or other mechanical device, or to maintain such flagman, when required by the commission pursuant to this section or section 4907.471 of the Revised Code, and after the commission has issued an appropriate order finding that the public funds will be made available with respect to any protective device it has ordered installed, shall forfeit to the state, for every such neglect or refusal, one thousand dollars, and in addition, shall forfeit one thousand dollars for each day such neglect or refusal continues.
Effective Date: 10-29-1989