TITLE 21

Motor Vehicles

Operation and Equipment

CHAPTER 41. RULES OF THE ROAD

Subchapter VII. Special Stops Required


(a) Whenever any person driving a vehicle approaches a railroad grade crossing, drawbridge or automatic signal system controlling the flow of traffic under any of the circumstances stated in this section, the driver of such vehicle shall stop within 50 feet but not less than 15 feet from the nearest rail of such railroad, and shall not proceed until the driver can do so safely. The foregoing requirements shall apply when:

(1) A clearly visible electric or mechanical signal device gives warning of the immediate approach of a railroad train;

(2) A crossing gate is lowered or when a human flagman gives or continues to give a signal of the approach or passage of a railroad train;

(3) A railroad train approaching within approximately 1,500 feet of the highway crossing emits a signal audible from such distance and such railroad train, by reason of its speed or nearness to such crossing, is an immediate hazard;

(4) An approaching railroad train is plainly visible and is in hazardous proximity to such crossing.

(b) No person shall drive any vehicle through, around or under any crossing gate or barrier at a railroad crossing while such gate or barrier is closed or is being opened or closed.

21 Del. C. 1953, § 4161; 54 Del. Laws, c. 160, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) Except as provided by subsection (b) of this section, the driver of any motor vehicle carrying passengers for hire or of any vehicle carrying explosive substances or flammable liquids as a cargo or part of a cargo, before crossing at any grade or any track of a railroad, shall stop such vehicle within 50 feet but not less than 15 feet from the nearest rail of such railroad and while so stopped shall listen and look in both directions along such track for any approaching train, and for signals indicating the approach of a train, and shall not proceed until the driver can do so safely. After stopping as required by this subsection, and upon proceeding when it is safe to do so, the driver of any vehicle referenced in this subsection shall cross only in such gear of the vehicle that there will be no necessity for changing gears while traversing such crossing, and the driver shall not shift gears while crossing the track.

(b) Subsection (a) of this section shall not apply at any of the following:

(1) A railroad grade crossing at which traffic is controlled by a police officer or human flagger.

(2) A railroad grade crossing at which traffic is regulated by a traffic-control signal.

(3) A railroad grade crossing protected by crossing gates or an alternately flashing light signal intended to give warning of the approach of a railroad train.

(4) A railroad grade crossing at which an official traffic-control device gives notice that the stopping requirement imposed by this section does not apply.

(c) Except as provided by subsection (d) of this section, the driver of any school bus, before crossing at any grade or any track of a railroad, shall stop such vehicle within 50 feet but not less than 15 feet from the nearest rail of such railroad and while so stopped shall listen and look in both directions along such track for any approaching train, and for signals indicating the approach of a train, and shall not proceed until the driver can do so safely. After stopping as required by this subsection, and upon proceeding when it is safe to do so, the driver of any school bus shall cross only in such gear of the vehicle that there will be no necessity for changing gears while traversing such crossing, and the driver shall not shift gears while crossing the track.

(d) Subsection (c) of this section shall not apply at any of the following:

(1) A railroad grade crossing at which traffic is controlled by a police officer or human flagger.

(2) A railroad grade crossing at which an official traffic-control device gives notice that the stopping requirement imposed by this section does not apply.

21 Del. C. 1953, § 4163; 54 Del. Laws, c. 160, § 1; 60 Del. Laws, c. 701, § 39; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 77 Del. Laws, c. 312, § 3; 80 Del. Laws, c. 122, § 1.;

In addition to the existing railroad crossing violations in § 4163 of this title, the following railroad crossing infractions shall apply to commercial motor vehicle operators.

(1) Every commercial motor vehicle operator other than those listed in § 4163 of this title shall, upon approaching a railroad-highway grade crossing:

a. Slow down and check that the tracks are clear of an approaching train; and

b. Stop before reaching the crossing if the tracks are not clear.

(2) The driver of a commercial motor vehicle shall obey a traffic control device and comply with a lawful order or direction of a police officer or other enforcement official who is guiding, directing, controlling, or regulating traffic at a railroad-highway grade crossing.

(3) The driver of a commercial motor vehicle shall not cross a railroad-highway grade crossing unless the vehicle has sufficient undercarriage clearance.

(4) The driver of a commercial motor vehicle shall not cross a railroad-highway grade crossing unless the vehicle has sufficient space and can be driven completely through the crossing without stopping.

77 Del. Laws, c. 311, § 9.;

(a) Except when directed to proceed by police officers or traffic-control devices, every driver of a vehicle approaching a stop intersection indicated by a stop sign shall stop at a marked stop line, but if none, before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or if none, then at the point nearest the intersecting roadway where the driver has a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway before entering the intersection.

(b) The operator of any vehicle who has come to a full stop as provided in subsection (a) of this section shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle or pedestrian in the intersection or to any vehicle approaching on another roadway so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard and shall not enter into, upon or across such roadway or highway until such movement can be made in safety.

(c) Whenever a yield sign notifying drivers to yield the right-of-way has been erected, it shall be unlawful for a driver of any vehicle on the highway whose traffic is regulated by such a sign to fail to yield the right-of-way to any vehicle approaching on or from another highway or merging roadway or to a pedestrian legally crossing a roadway. If required for safety to stop, the stop shall be made at a marked stop line, but if none, before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or if none, then at the point nearest the intersecting roadway where the driver has a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway before entering the intersection. Any such driver having so yielded to any vehicle in the intersection or approaching on another roadway so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard or to a pedestrian legally crossing a roadway shall not enter into, upon or across such roadway or highway until such movement can be made in safety.

21 Del. C. 1953, § 4164; 54 Del. Laws, c. 160, § 1; 57 Del. Laws, c. 670, § 13A; 60 Del. Laws, c. 701, § 40.;

The driver of a vehicle emerging from an alley, driveway, private road or building where there is no official traffic-control device shall stop such vehicle immediately prior to driving onto a sidewalk or onto the sidewalk area extending across any alleyway, driveway or private road and shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian as may be necessary to avoid collision, and before entering the roadway shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles approaching on the roadway.

21 Del. C. 1953, § 4165; 54 Del. Laws, c. 160, § 1; 60 Del. Laws, c. 701, § 41.;

(a) School bus.

(1) It shall be unlawful to operate or permit to be operated a vehicle which purports to be a school bus and which does not meet the following requirements:

a. Carries a valid school bus inspection sticker;

b. Meets all requirements set by the Department of Transportation; and

c. Complies with §§ 4362-4364 of this title [repealed].

(2) If licensed in another state, these requirements still prevail except that an inspection sticker is not required.

(3) It shall be unlawful for the driver of any vehicle which does not meet the requirements of this section to attempt to or to control traffic while stopped on the roadway to pick up and discharge passengers.

(b) School bus flashing lamps.

(1) School bus flashing lamps are intended to identify the vehicle as a school bus and to inform other users of the highway that such vehicle is about to stop or is stopped on the roadway or shoulder to take on or discharge school children. They are separate from the brake lamps and shall not be used in lieu of or to supplement the brake lamps.

(2) The amber warning lamps shall be activated approximately 10 seconds prior to the red stop lamps to give motorists advance notice that the bus is preparing to stop or has stopped to pick up and discharge pupils. The lamps shall always be used prior to the red when available and shall be used only after the bus is relatively parallel with the travelway. The bus may be in motion when the amber warning lamps are activated.

(3) The red stop lamps shall be activated only when the bus is stopped, but only when the bus is stopped on the shoulder or roadway to pick up and discharge pupils. The red stop lamps shall not be displayed while the bus is in motion either before or after a stop.

(4) The amber warning lamps and/or the red stop lamps shall not be activated:

a. In designated school bus loading zones;

b. At intersections or other places where traffic is controlled by traffic-control signals or police officers;

c. When the bus is not being used as a school bus; provided, however, the amber warning lights and/or the red stop lamps may be used any time the bus is transporting children under the age of 18.

(c) School bus words. — The words "SCHOOL BUS" shall be displayed whenever the bus is operated as a school bus. The words shall be covered, or concealed or removed when the bus is not in actual service as a school bus.

(d)(1) Overtaking and passing school bus. — When a school bus is stopped and displays flashing lamps in accordance with subsection (b) of this section, the driver of any vehicle approaching the school bus from the front or from the rear shall stop before passing the bus and remain stopped until such bus begins to move or no longer has the red stop lamps activated. On roadway or roadways with 4 or more lanes, the driver approaching from the front shall not stop.

(2) The provisions of § 4101(a) of this title or any other statute notwithstanding, the provisions of this subsection shall apply upon highways and elsewhere throughout the State.

(e) Stopping of school bus. — Whenever practical, a school bus driver shall stop as far to the right as possible to pick up and discharge passengers.

(f) Identification of violators. — If any vehicle is witnessed by a police officer, school bus operator or school crossing guard to be in violation of subsection (d) of this section and the identity of the operator is not otherwise apparent, it shall be a rebuttable presumption that the person in whose name such vehicle is registered committed such violation of subsection (d) of this section.

(g) Bus operators, bus aides or crossing guards as witnesses. — Whenever a school bus operator, a bus aide or a crossing guard is required to prepare, with legal counsel, for an appearance or to appear in any court as witness against a person who is alleged to have violated subsection (d) of this section, the witness shall be advised by the prosecutor assigned to the case by the Attorney General. If a witness is required to prepare for or to appear in court during working hours, as an operator, aide or guard, in a case as herein described, the witness shall not suffer any loss of wages, salary or leave time as an employee of the school district, bus contractor or other employing agency, because of such appearance, except as provided in this section. If the preparation or appearance occurs at a time other than regular working hours, then the witness shall be paid by the employer for the time involved. Payment for such time shall be at the rate regularly paid to that employee, except that such payment shall not exceed $8.00 per hour. Employers shall be reimbursed for wages and employment costs paid upon presentation of appropriate documentation to the Secretary of Education.

(h) Penalties. — Whoever violates subsection (d) of this section shall, for the first offense, be fined not less than $115 nor more than $230 or imprisoned not less than 30 days nor more than 60 days or both. For each subsequent like offense occurring within 3 years from the former offense, such person shall be fined not less than $115 nor more than $575, and imprisoned not less than 60 days nor more than 6 months. The minimum fine levied for a violation of subsection (d) of this section shall not be subject to suspension.

(i) Suspension of license. — Upon receiving a conviction for a violation of subsection (d) of this section, the Department shall suspend the driver's license and/or driving privileges for a period of not less than 1 month, nor more than 1 year. If the driver's license is suspended, a conditional license may be issued pursuant to regulations adopted by the Department.

21 Del. C. 1953, § 4166; 54 Del. Laws, c. 160, § 1; 56 Del. Laws, c. 367; 60 Del. Laws, c. 701, § 42; 63 Del. Laws, c. 157, §§ 1, 2; 63 Del. Laws, c. 402, § 3; 64 Del. Laws, c. 311, § 1; 67 Del. Laws, c. 21, § 1; 68 Del. Laws, c. 9, § 29; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 73 Del. Laws, c. 65, § 26; 73 Del. Laws, c. 211, §§ 1, 2; 74 Del. Laws, c. 110, § 86; 77 Del. Laws, c. 312, §§ 4, 5.;

(a) No person shall operate or move any crawler-type tractor, steam shovel, derrick, roller or any equipment or structure having a normal operating speed of 10 or less miles per hour or a vertical body or load clearance of less than 1/2 inch per foot of the distance between any 2 adjacent axles or in any event of less than 9 inches, measured above the level surface of a roadway, upon or across any tracks at a railroad grade crossing without first complying with this section.

(b) Notice of any such intended crossing shall be given to a station agent of such railroad and a reasonable time be given to such railroad to provide proper protection at such crossing.

(c) Before making any such crossing the person operating or moving any such vehicle or equipment shall first stop the same not less than 15 feet nor more than 50 feet from the nearest rail of such railroad and while so stopped shall listen and look in both directions along such track for any approaching train and for signals indicating the approach of a train and shall not proceed until the crossing can be made safely.

(d) No such crossing shall be made when warning is given by automatic signal or crossing gates or a flagger or otherwise of the immediate approach of a railroad train or car. If a flagger is provided by the railroad, movement over the crossing shall be under the flagger's direction.

21 Del. C. 1953, § 4167; 54 Del. Laws, c. 160, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;