The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has updated its guide for train drivers to guide train operators in the use of stop signs, signals and traffic signals.
In addition, the DOT has published a video explaining the use and enforcement of stop and go signals.
The video, titled Stop Sign Usage, also shows how to identify the presence of a stop sign, and how to interpret stop signs when they are not in the right location.
The DOT also includes a video of the American Bar Association’s Stop Sign Advocacy Center (SAPAC), which provides train operators with information on the law and regulation pertaining to stop signs.
In the video, the SAPAC explains that stop signs are generally recognized as a form of stop sign when they appear in a position that is clear of other traffic, but is not so clear as to be a reasonable alternative to a right turn.
The SAPAC also explains that when a stop signal is placed at an intersection, the stop sign is considered a right-turn lane.
It also explains how to make a stop to get to a stop line, how to apply a stop arrow to indicate a stop, and whether a stop light is required for a right hand turn.
Train operators will also learn how to properly interpret a stop flag when it appears in a way that is in clear view of other vehicles.
Train safety advocates will also hear from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which regulates the use, enforcement and monitoring of stop-signs.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) also will discuss the rules and regulations that apply to train operators when they operate train cars.
Trainers will also be briefed on the regulations concerning train stops and the use-by-vehicle rules for trains.
Train operator training and testing will also continue through the end of the year.
The train industry is expected to receive more training on stop signs and train stops by the end the year, according to a recent report from Train Safety International.
“The next step is for train operators to be able to train with these new train signals,” said Dan Sorenson, director of research and policy for the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), in a statement.
“Train operators need to be aware of the new train signal rules and understand the new rules for stop signs.”
Trainers also will have to understand the rules for approaching stop lines and the difference between right and left turn signals, Sorensson added.
“With the new signals, train operators are going to need to learn the difference.”
For more information, visit the National Transportation Forum’s Stop-Signs FAQ.
The American Bar Associations Stop Sign Advocate Center (SPAC) also issued a statement following the DOT’s update on stop sign enforcement.
“We encourage the DOT to continue to educate train operators and train companies on the use & enforcement of signal indications, especially when they don’t comply with the regulations,” SPAC President and CEO Mike Ritvo said in a news release.
“As a result, SPAC members are taking proactive steps to improve train operations and to promote the safety of all road users.”
The U/V train industry also welcomed the DOT update, noting that the industry had been working to address the issues with stop signs for years.
“In the coming months, we expect to continue our efforts to address these issues with new train designs and technologies,” the U/Vs union wrote in a letter to DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx.
“It is important that the government’s train safety plan includes a plan to provide for the use for stop signals by all railroads that are using them, and the DOT should follow through.”
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s Stop Signal Advocate Center released a video on September 14, 2018, that explains the difference in train signals and stop signs from the Stop Sign Interpretation Manual (SPM) of the Department of Labor.
The SPM, a set of regulations, describes the rules that apply when a train operator approaches a stop on a road and the following:A train must be moving at least 20 mph (32 kph) at the time of the approach;A train’s operator must be able view the train in all directions at all times;The operator must stop the train at a stop marker or signal;A stop sign must be visible from the operator’s immediate view;The stop sign’s distance must not be less than 3 feet (12 cm) from the front of the train, and must not exceed the width of a standard school bus lane.
Train stops are not required to be within 2 feet (610 mm) of a sign.
Train drivers should follow the SPM rules when they approach a stop.
Train vehicles are not allowed to stop at stop lines.
Train drivers are not permitted to turn or move onto a track that is part of a track or the tracks themselves, even if a stop is indicated.
Train operators are not obligated to stop