Most Hudson Valley Railroad Crossings Have Exempt Signs, What Do They Mean?
I see them all over and have no clue what they mean.
I've written many times about some of the things I've witnessed and noticed while driving around the Hudson Valley. We've figured out what old business used to be in many locations all across the Hudson Valley, it's one of the things that you guys are amazing at! So while I was driving in the Fishkill, East Fishkill areas last weekend I had one of those random questions hit me and thought who better to ask than you.
Have you Ever Seen an "Exempt" Sign Near a Railroad Crossing?
I'm not sure why, but I noticed two of these signs one near the intersection off Route 82 and Palen Road in East Fishkill and the other on Route 9 in Fishkill near Walmart. While crossing over the one on Route 9 I asked everyone in my car at the time if they had any idea what "exempt" means? Both my kids said at the same time, "Dad you're the driver, you should know what it means!" They went on to try and convince me that because I didn't know what it meant that I could be breaking the law by driving across the railroad tracks without knowing what the signs mean.
Kids, you gotta love them right? After doing a quick search online I thought I would find the answer easily but came across a couple of different answers. First, I'm not breaking traffic law driving across the tracks...LOL!
What an Exempt Sign Means for Cars and Trucks
According to the website First Law Comic, the exempt signs are there to let drivers of commercial motor vehicles that have passengers or hazardous materials on board that a stop is not required at that specific railroad crossings. Drivers are encouraged to still use caution while crossing the tracks which is why most of the exempt signs are accompanied by a yield sign. The signs are usually placed on each side of the road before the crossings of dormant tracks as well.
What an Exempt Sign Means for Trains
If a train approaches a crossing that is exempt, the train must come to a complete stop and the only way it's allowed to cross is with police or an authorized person holding traffic while the train crosses.
Now that we are all a bit smarter on the roads, I cant wait to see one of these signs again with my kids so I can "drop some knowledge on them!!"....LOL!