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Lopez & Benson Bill Requiring Clearance of Overgrown Vegetation Near Railroad Crossings Now Law

In an effort to prevent accidents resulting from overgrown vegetation on and around train tracks, Assembly Democrats Yvonne Lopez and Daniel Benson have sponsored a bill (A-4958) that would require railroad operators to remove obstructive vegetation near railroad crossings. Upon the bill being signed into law Thursday, the sponsors released the following statements:

“Every day, trains weighing hundreds of thousands of pounds traveling at great speeds crisscross the rails throughout our State. As a major transit hub, the safety of our railroads is of paramount importance,” said Assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez (D-Middlesex). “Train tracks that are not kept clear of obstruction can prevent inspectors from noticing defects and can limit the visibility of important signage and signals at crossings. New Jersey must address any safety concerns that can place individuals at risk, and ensuring that overgrown vegetation is maintained is one way we can safeguard the well-being of operators, passengers and bystanders alike.”

“Weeds and trees that have grown too close to train tracks or even begun to extend onto them pose an often-overlooked danger to both commuters and railroad employees,” said Assemblyman Daniel Benson (D-Mercer, Middlesex). “This overgrowth can contribute to the degradation of track structure and can cause more injuries among maintenance crews as they work in the vicinity of the tracks. Railroad operators can help prevent these issues by clearing obstructive vegetation along their routes.”