§3 - Note

P.L. 1997, CHAPTER 309, approved January 8, 1998

Assembly Committee Substitute for

Assembly, No. 1788





An Act concerning railroads and amending R.S.48:12-152 and P.L.1979, c.150.


      Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:


      1. R.S.48:12-152 is amended to read as follows:

      48:12-152. [It shall not be lawful for any]a. No person other than those connected with or employed upon the railroad [to walk along the tracks of any railroad except when the same shall be laid upon a public highway.

      Any person injured by an engine or car while walking, standing or playing on a railroad or by jumping on or off a car while in motion shall be deemed to have contributed to the injury sustained and shall not recover therefor any damages from the company owning or operating the railroad. This section shall not apply to the crossing of a railroad by a person at any lawful public or private crossing.] who are acting within the scope of their employment shall enter upon the right of way of any railroad or come into contact with any equipment, machinery, wires or rolling stock of any railroad. This section shall not prohibit a passenger for hire from utilizing those parts of a railroad particularly intended for passenger use nor shall it prohibit a person from using a crossing established by the railroad.

      b. No person shall recover from the company owning or operating the railroad or from any officer or employee of the railroad, any damages for death or injury to person or property as a result of contact with any equipment, machinery, wires or rolling stock of any railroad, if death or injury occurred while that person was:

      (1) under the influence of alcohol as evidenced by a blood alcohol concentration of 0.10% or higher by weight of alcohol in the person's blood; or

      (2) under the influence of drugs, other than drugs medically prescribed for use by that person and used in the manner prescribed; or

      (3) engaging in conduct intended to result in personal bodily injury or death; or

      (4) engaging in conduct proscribed by subsection a. of this section; or

      (5) using the property of any railroad in a manner in which it was not intended to be used or in violation of posted regulations.

      In the absence of proof to the contrary, any person injured while attempting to board or disembark from a moving train shall be presumed to have used the property in a manner in which it was not intended to be used.

      This subsection shall apply notwithstanding the provisions of P.L.1973, c.146 (C.2A:15-5.1 et seq.).

      c. This section shall not preclude recovery for injury or death of a person who was, at the time of the injury, less than 18 years of age.

(cf: R.S.48:12-152)


      2. Section 8 of P.L.1979, c.150 (C.27:25-8) is amended to read as follows:

      8. a. The corporation or any subsidiary thereof shall not be considered a public utility as defined in R.S.48:2-13 and except with regard to subsection c. of this section, subsection b. of R.S.48:3-38 [and] , section 2 of P.L.1989, c.291 (C.27:25-15.1) and R.S.48:12-152 the provisions of Title 48 of the Revised Statutes shall not apply to the corporation or any subsidiary thereof.

      b. The authority hereby given the corporation pursuant to section 6 of this act with respect to fares and service, shall be exercised without regard or reference to the jurisdiction vested in the Department of Transportation by R.S.48:2-21, 48:2-24 and 48:4-3. The Department of Transportation shall resume jurisdiction over service and fares upon the termination and discontinuance of a contractual relationship between the corporation and a private or public entity relating to the provision of public transportation services operated under the authority of certificates of public convenience and necessity previously issued by the department or its predecessors; provided, however, that no private entity shall be required to restore any service discontinued or any fare changed during the existence of a contractual relationship with the corporation, unless the Department of Transportation shall determine, after notice and hearing, that the service or fare is required by public convenience and necessity.

      c. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this act, all vehicles used by any public or private entity pursuant to contract authorized by this act, and all vehicles operated by the corporation directly, shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the Department of Transportation with respect to maintenance, specifications and safety to the same extent such jurisdiction is conferred upon the department by Title 48 of the Revised Statutes.

      d. Before implementing any fare increase for any motorbus regular route or rail passenger services, or the substantial curtailment or abandonment of any such services, the corporation shall hold a public hearing in the area affected during evening hours. Notice of such hearing shall be given by the corporation at least 15 days prior to such hearing to the governing body of each county whose residents will be affected and to the clerk of each municipality in the county or counties whose residents will be affected; such notice shall also be posted at least 15 days prior to such hearing in prominent places on the railroad cars and buses serving the routes to be affected.

(cf: P.L.1989, c.291, s.3)


      3. This act shall take effect immediately and shall apply to causes of action which accrue on or after the effective date of this act.





Provides that railroad immunity act controls in certain actions concerning railroad-related injuries.