Delaware General Assembly







Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware (two-thirds of all members elected to each branch thereof concurring therein):

Section 1. Amend §710, Chapter 7, Title 17 of the Delaware Cede, by striking said section in its entirety.

Section 2. Amend Chapter 7, Title 17 of the Delaware Code, by adding thereto a new section, designated as §712, which shall read as follows:

§712. Railroad Crossings; Construction and Protection

(a) No public carrier engaged in the transportation of passengers or property shall, without prior order of the Department, construct its facilities across the facilities of any other such public utility or across any public 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 Department 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 Department 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 Department. The Department 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 carrier or municipal corporation or county concerned or by the Department, or, in the case of any crossing on private land, by the owner thereof; provided, however, that when the Department or other governmental authority maintaining any public highway determines to use Federal Aid moneys in the construction, relocation, alteration, protection or abolition of any crossing aforesaid, then the Department shall take this into account in allocating costs.

(d) The term "public highway" as used in this section means any road, lane or street maintained by the State or any municipal corporation or county for use by the travelling public, that abuts any railroad track or immediately abuts the right of way thereof.

Section 3. Amend 5101, Chapter 1, Title 17 of the Delaware Code, by adding thereto the following new definitions to subsection (a):

"'Public carrier' includes every individual, partnership, association, corporation, joint stock company, agency or department of the State, or any association of individuals engaged in the prosecution in common of a productive enterprise (commonly called a `cooperative'), their lessees, trustees, or receivers appointed by any court whatsoever, that now operates or hereafter may operate, within this State, any railroad, street, railway, traction railway, motor bus or electric trackless trolley coach service, system, plant or equipment for public use.

`Railroad' means a road, the cars, carriages and coaches on which are propelled by steam power, electricity, cable, motor or any improved motive power."

Section 4. Amend §132, Chapter 1, Title 17 of the Delaware Code, by adding thereto a new subsection, designated as subsection (g), which new subsection shall read as follows:

"(g) The Department shall have exclusive original supervision and regulation of all public carriers and also over their property, property rights, equipment, facilities, franchises, rates, fares, tariffs, regulations, practices, measurements and services."

Section 5. Amend Title 17 of the Delaware Code, by adding thereto a new chapter, which shall read as follows:


§801. Regulation of Ticket Agents; penalties for violations

(a) Each agent who is authorized to sell tickets or other evidence entitling the holder to travel on any railroad, steamboat or public conveyance, shall be provided with a certificate setting forth his authority to make such sales, duly attested by the seal of the owner or persons operating such railroad, steamboat or public conveyance, and also by the signature of the officer whose name is signed upon the tickets or coupons which such agent may sell. Such agent shall exhibit to any person desiring to purchase the ticket, or to any officer of the law who may request him the certificate of his authority thus to sell, and shall keep the certificate conspicuously posted in his office for the information of travelers. No person not possessed of such authority shall sell or transfer any coupon or part of any ticket, or other evidence of the holder's title to travel on any railroad, steamboat or Other public conveyance, whether the same is situated, operated or owned within or without this State.

(b) Whoever sells, barters or transfers any such coupon or part of any ticket, or evidence, in violation of this section shall he fined not more than $500, or imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both.

§802. Redemption of unused tickets

The owner or person operating any railroad, steamboat or other public conveyance hall provide for the redemption at his or its general office of the whole or such parts of coupons of any ticket sold as the purchaser has not used, and shall -redeem the same at a rate which shall be equal to the difference between the price paid for the whole ticket and the cost of a ticket between the points for which the portion of the ticket was actually used.

§803. Erection and maintenance of telegraph and telephone lines by railroad

Every railroad corporation existing under the laws of this State may erect, establish and maintain telegraph or telephone lines for their own use, along and upon the lands and right of way of such railroad corporations.

§804. Fences and cattle guards; liability for damages; trespass with animals; walking on tracks; penalties

Every railroad corporation shall erect and maintain fences on both sides of its road, of the height and strength of a fence required by law, with openings, gates or bars therein at farm crossings or the roads for the use of proprietors of lands adjoining such railroad. Every such corporation shall also construct and maintain cattle guards at all the road crossings suitable and sufficient to prevent cattle and other animals from getting on the railroad. Until such fences and cattle guards have been duly made the corporation shall be liable for all damages which are done by their engines and cars to cattle, horses or other animals thereon.

After such fences and guards are duly made and maintained the corporation shall not be liable for any such damages, unless negligently or willfully done. If any person rides, leads or drives any horse or other animal upon such railroad and within such fences and guards other than at farm crossings without the consent of the corporation, he shall for every such offense forfeit not more than $10 and shall also pay all damages which are sustained thereby to the party aggrieved. No person other than those connected with or employed upon the railroad shall walk along the tracks of any such railroad, except when the same are laid along public roads or streets.

§805. Liability of those damaging railroad property

Any person who willfully impairs, injures, destroys or obstructs the use of any railroad enjoyed under the provisions of this title or any of its necessary works, wharves, bridges, carriages, engines, cars, machines, or other property, shall forfeit and pay to the corporation the sum of $50, to be by it recovered in any court having competent jurisdiction in any civil action and shall be liable for all damages sustained.

§806. Badges of Railroad Conductor, Baggage Master and Brakeman

Every conductor, baggage master or brakeman, of any railroad corporation employed in a passenger train, shall wear upon his hat or cap a badge which shall indicate his office and the initial letters of the name of the corporation by which he is employed. No conductor or collector of fares or tickets without such badge shall be entitled to demand or receive from any passenger any fare or ticket, or to exercise any powers of his office, and no officer without such badge shall have authority to meddle or interfere with any passenger, his baggage or property.

§807. Railroad car brakes

No passenger train on any railroad shall be run without an air brake, or some equally effective appliance for controlling the speed of trains, which may be applied by the engineer to each car composing the train, and which shall at all times be kept in good condition and ready for use at the discretion of the engineer.

§808. Penalties for violations of Section 806-807

Any corporation failing to comply with, violating or permitting any of its employees or agents to violate any of the provisions of Sections 806-807 of this Title shall, in addition to subjecting itself to any damage that may be caused by such failure or violation, be fined not less than $100 nor more than $500.

§809. Free passes and franks; transportation without fare

(a) This chapter shall in no wise be construed to prevent the issuance by any public carrier of free passes or franks to its employees, officers, agents, and their families, and the interchange between public carriers of passes or franks for their employees, officers, agents, and their families, nor to prevent the carrying without fare upon electric trackless trolley coaches, street railways, or buses, of policemen, firemen, health officers and park guards in uniform, or plain clothes detectives, sheriffs, deputy sheriffs, and other public employees wearing official badges.

(b) Nothing in this Title shall be construed to prohibit the carriage or handling of persons or property free or at reduced rates by railroads for the United States, State or municipal governments, or to or from fairs and expositions for exhibitions thereof; or the free carriage of destitute and homeless persons transported by charitable societies and the necessary agents employed in such transportation; or the issuance of mileage, excursion, or commutation passenger tickets; nor to prohibit any such corporation from giving reduced passenger rates to ministers of religion solely engaged in ministerial duties or to the United States, State or municipal governments; nor to prohibit any such corporation from giving free carriage to their own officers and employees; nor to prohibit the principal officers of any such corporation from exchanging passes or tickets with other railroad corporations for their officers and employees; nor to prohibit any such corporation from giving reduced rates of transportation to other railroad corporations for railroad construction, material, equipment or supplies.

§810. Transportation utilities; intra and interline connections; switch connections

The Department may, after hearing, upon notice, by order in writing, direct any railroad, street railway, traction company, motor bus or passenger line, to establish and maintain at any junction or point of connection or intersection with any other line of such company, or with any line of any other railroad, street railway, traction company, motor bus, electric trackless trolley coach, or passenger line, such just and reasonable connection as is necessary to promote the convenience of shippers of property, or of passengers, and in like manner may direct any railroad, street railway, or traction company, engaged in carrying merchandise, to construct, maintain and operate upon reasonable terms a switch connection with any private side track which may be constructed by any shipper to connect with the railroad, street railway or traction railway where, in the judgment of the Department, such connection is reasonable and practicable, and can be put in with safety, and will furnish sufficient business to justify the construction and maintenance of the same.

§811. Public carriers operating buses public liability insurance

The Department may prescribe by regulation or order, as to public carriers operating motor buses, such requirements as it deems necessary for the protection of persons or property of their patrons and the public, including the filing of surety bonds, the carrying of insurance, or the qualifications and conditions under which such carriers may act as self-insurers with respect to such matters. All such motor carriers, whose current liquid assets do not exceed their current liabilities by at least $100,000, shall cover each and every vehicle transporting passengers or property, with a public liability and property damage insurance policy or policies issued by an insurance company authorized to do business in this State, in such amounts as the Department may prescribe, but not less than $25,000 for one and $50,000 for more than one person injured or killed in any one accident, and not less than $10,000 for loss or damage in any one accident to property of others, excluding cargo.

Section 6. Section 701, Title 26 of the Delaware Code, is repealed.

Section 7. Section 702, Title 26 of the Delaware Code, is repealed.

Section 8. Section 703, Title 26 of the Delaware Code, is repealed.

Section 9. Section 705, Title 26 of the Delaware Code, is repealed.

Section 10. Section 706, Title 26 of the Delaware Code, is repealed.

Section 11. Section 707, Title 26 of the Delaware Code, is repealed.

Section 12. Section 710, Title 26 of the Delaware Code, is repealed.

Section 13. Section 711, Title 26 of the Delaware Code is repealed.

Section 14. Section 712, Title 26 of the Delaware Code, is repealed.

Section 15. Section 137, Title 26 of the Delaware Code, is repealed.

Section 16. Section 138, Title 26 of the Delaware Code, is repealed.

Section 17. Section 141, Title 26 of the Delaware Code, is repealed.

Section 18. Section 167, Title 26 of the Delaware Code, is repealed.

Section 19. Chapter 3, Title 26 of the Delaware Code, is repealed.

Section 20. Chapter 5, Title 26 of the Delaware Code, is repealed.

Section 21. 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.

Approved June 28, 1974.