The purpose of this bill is to amend sections 308 and 419 of the Railway act.
The amendment .grants power to certain municipalities contiguous to or near large cities to pass by-laws prohibiting the sounding of the statutory crossing whistle at specified grade crossings within the confines of such municipality.
The reason for this amendment is that many townships or villages situated contiguous to major metropolitan areas have now become so built up that they constitute a physical part of the neighbouring city or town.
Railways passing through these built-up areas and whistling at the crossings constitute a nuisance and are a real menace to the health and welfare of the residents of such districts.
The amendment is simple in form as it merely adds the words "township or village situated contiguous to or near such city or town" to subsection 2 of section 308 of the Railway act, and the same words to subsection 3, section 419, of the same act, the latter being the penalty clause and' contingent on section 308.
Subsection 2 of section 308 will now read:
"(2) Where a municipal by-law of a city or town, or of a 'township or village situated contiguous to or near such city or town, prohibits such sounding of the whistle or such ringing of the bell in respect of any such crossing or crossings within the limits of such city or town, or township or village, such by-law shall, if approved by 'an order of 'the board, to the extent of such prohibition relieve the company and its employees from the duty imposed by this section."
This does not constitute a blanket order permitting all townships or villages to pass prohibitory by-laws, nor does it embrace all grade crossings in the designated municipality, as each crossing must under the terms of the act be approved by the board of transport commissioners, who must be satisfied as to the safety measures taken at each crossing where the whistle warning is to be dispensed with.
I would mention the case of St. Hilaire Village v. Canadian National Railway, where it is shown that relief can only be obtained by an amendment to the act.
Motion agreed to and bill read; the first time. ARGENTINA
Subtopic: POWER TO PROHIBIT SOUND SIGNALS AT CROSSINGS IN OR NEAR CITIES AND TOWNS