Highlights From 2017 Texas DPS Driver’s Handbook – Chapter 4

railroad crossing sign in x pattern

We found some highlights from the 2017 “Texas Driver Handbook”, published by the Texas DPS. The full handbook (in PDF format) can be found here:


These highlights come from Chapter 4:

The driver traveling on a frontage road of a controlled-access highway must yield the right-of-way to a vehicle:
• Entering or about to enter the frontage road from the highway; and
• Leaving or about to leave the frontage road to enter the highway.
Driving on Multiple-Lane Roads
On a road divided into three or more lanes with traffic moving in the same direction, a vehicle entering a lane of traffic from the right must yield the right-of-way to a vehicle entering the same lane of traffic from the left.
Railroad Grade Crossings
When approaching a railroad grade crossing, stop between 15 and 50 feet from the nearest rail if:
1. A clearly visible railroad signal warns of an approaching train
2. A crossing gate is lowered or a flag person warns of an approaching train
3. A driver is required to stop by an official traffic-control device or a traffic-control signal
4. An approaching train is within about 1,500 feet of the crossing. The train will produce an audible signal to identify the immediate hazard.
5. An approaching train is visible and in close proximity to the crossing

You are required to stop at a railroad grade crossing and remain stopped until allowed to proceed or it is safe to proceed.
A person who fails to obey the law regarding railroad grade crossings is subject to a fine of $50 to $200.

Additional Safe Driving Procedures at Railroad Crossings
1. If a railroad crossing is marked only with a cross-buck sign or reduce speed sign, then look both ways, and listen for a whistle. If a train is approaching, stop. If a train is not approaching, proceed with caution.
2. If red lights are f lashing at a railroad crossing, stop. If a train is approaching, remain stopped until the train passes and the lights stop flashing.
3. If the railroad crossing gates have been lowered, stop. Remain stopped and wait until the train passes and the gates are raised before crossing.
4. Be sure the tracks are clear before you proceed to cross. There may be two or more sets of tracks. One train could be blocking the view of another.
5. Never stop on the tracks. If your car stalls on the tracks and you cannot restart it, get out and try to push the car off the tracks.
If you cannot push the car off the tracks, get help. If a train is approaching and your vehicle is stalled, get out quickly and move away from the tracks. Run toward the approaching train to the side of the tracks and avoid flying debris.
6. Remember, trains do not and cannot stop at crossings. Trains always have the right-of-way.
7. Audible signs or whistles may be difficult to hear when approaching railroad crossings. Roll your windows down, turn your radio down, and listen carefully.

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