Ask A Cop: Can dogs be walked along railroad tracks?
(A Lake Oswego police officer answers readers questions every week in this space. Send your questions to staff reporter Cliff Newell at email@example.com or call 503-636-1281 ext. 105)
Is it okay to walk my dog on or along the railroad tracks?
No. Not only is it unsafe, it is also illegal.
Criminal Trespass I is a Class A Misdemeanor. Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) 164.255 states: (c) Enters or remains unlawfully upon railroad yards, tracks, bridges or rights of way.
There is also a requirement under Chapter 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations part 214 Railroad Workplace Safety that requires all persons who remain within a 25-foot distance from the center of a track to be trained and obtain proper authority from the train dispatcher, regardless of the right-of-way boundary. Additional safety information can be obtained through the national program Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (www.oli.org).
Public safety is one of Portland & Western Railroads biggest concerns, and they will prosecute trespassers. The railroad continually seeks police assistance in enforcing this issue.
Please, use caution, only cross at a designated crossing and stay off the tracks!
Officer Dawn Pecoraro
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