CHAPTER 643

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLES 17 AND 26, DELAWARE CODE, CONFERRING UPON THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION EXCLUSIVE JURISDICTION OVER THE INSPECTION, LOCATION, CONSTRUCTION, IMPROVEMENT, PROTECTION AND ABOLITION OF RAILROAD AND RAILWAY CROSSINGS; REMOVING CERTAIN AUTHORITY FROM THE DELAWARE STATE HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT; INCREASING THE PENALTIES FOR NON-COMPLIANCE WITH ORDERS OF THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION AND MAKING A SUPPLEMENTARY APPROPRIATION TO PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware:

Section 1. Title 26, Delaware Code, is hereby amended by adding thereto the following new Section:

§ 141. Railway and railroad crossings; construction and protection

(a) No public utility, engaged in the transportation of passengers or property, shall, without prior order of the Commission, construct its facilities across the facilities of any other such public utility or across any highway at grade or above or below grade, or at the same or different levels; and, without like order, no such crossing heretofore or hereafter constructed shall be altered, relocated or abolished.

(b) The Commission is hereby vested with exclusive power to determine and prescribe, by regulation or order, the points at which, and the manner in which, such crossing may be constructed, altered, relocated or abolished, and the manner and conditions, including protective devices, in or under which such crossings shall be maintained, operated, and. protected to effectuate the prevention of accidents and the promotion of the safety of the public.

(c) Upon its own motion or upon complaint, the Commission shall have exclusive power after hearing upon notices to all parties in interest, including the owners of adjacent property, to order any such crossing heretofore or hereafter constructed to be relocated or altered, or to be abolished upon such reasonable terms and conditions as shall be prescribed by the Commission. The Commission may order the work of construction, relocation, alteration, protection, or abolition of any crossing aforesaid to be performed in whole or in part by any public utility or municipal corporation concerned or by the State.

Section 2. Section 191, Title 26, Delaware Code, is hereby amended by striking the figures "$50" appearing therein and inserting in lieu thereof the words and figures "up to $1,000".

Section 3. Section 704, Title 26, Delaware Code, is repealed.

Section 4. Section 708, Title 26, Delaware Code, is repealed.

Section 5. Section 709, Title 26, Delaware Code, is repealed.

Section 6. Section 701, Title 17, Delaware Code, is hereby repealed.

Section 7. Section 702, Title 17, Delaware Code, is repealed.

Section 8. Section 703, Title 17, Delaware Code, is repealed.

Section 9, Section 704, Title 17, Delaware Code, is repealed.

Section 10. Section 709, Title 17, Delaware Code, is repealed.

Section 11. Acts occurring before the effective date of this Act and the rights, duties and interests flowing from them shall be governed by the law in existence at the time this Act becomes law. The provisions of this Act do not apply to violations of the law or to causes of action or judgments arising therefrom prior to the effective date of this Act. Prosecutions for such offenses or violations shall be governed by the prior law which is continued in effect for the purpose as if this Act is not in force. All violations, offenses, prosecutions and criminal appeals under prior law are saved and preserved. All civil causes of action based upon or under prior law arising out of occurrences prior to the effective date of this Act and judgments thereon or appeals therefrom are saved and preserved.

Section 12. The provisions of this Act shall become effective on July 1, 1970.

Section 13. There is hereby appropriated to the Public Service Commission the sum of $25,000 for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1971, for the purpose of exercising the inspection and enforcement duties conferred by this Act. This appropriation shall be a supplementary appropriation and shall be paid by the State Treasurer out of the General Fund of the State of Delaware not otherwise appropriated.

Approved June 30, 1970.