Trains stopping on Assembly Street have a new enemy: the SC General Assembly

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Legislation pre-filed in the South Carolina House of Representatives targets one of Columbia's biggest problems -- at least according to motorists and University of South Carolina students late for class -- trains.

Rep. Todd Rutherford's bill looks to increase the penalties for obstruction of roadways from $20 to $5,000 per lane blocked with the fine rising to $10,000 per lane if the violation occurs between 7:30 am and 5:30 pm.

"We cannot allow trains and obstructions to paralyze our roadways," Rutherford said in a statement. "Delays caused by these occurrences directly impact South Carolinians' wallets and even worse, can be a matter of life or death. It is my hope that increased penalties and improved enforcement of the law will keep our roads clear and our cars moving."

Rutherford said the intent behind his bill is directly related to a train stopping on Whaley Street, Assembly Street, and Rosewood Drive that caused traffic to be backed up for over an hour back in November.

"South Carolinians should not have to suffer because they happen to live near a freight-train line," Rutherford said. "This issue threatens our quality of life, public safety, and economic growth."

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