New York Railroad Law
Sign Boards, Flagmen and Gates at Crossings
1. Every railroad corporation shall cause a sign board to be placed, well supported and constantly maintained, at every crossing where its road is crossed by a public highway at grade. Such sign board shall be of a shape and design to be approved by the commissioner of transportation, and shall have suitable words painted thereon to warn travelers of the existence of such grade crossing. The commissioner of transportation shall have power to prescribe the location and elevation of such sign and the words of warning thereon. The commissioner of transportation may dispense with the use of such sign boards at such crossings as he may designate in cities and villages. At any point where a steam or electric railroad operating upon private right of way crosses a street, highway, turnpike, plankroad, or traveled way at grade, the corporation owning or operating such steam or electric railroad must upon order of the commissioner of transportation station a flagman, erect gates to be opened and closed when an engine or train passes, or provide other means of protection, and where a steam railroad crosses a street railroad at grade, and the corporation owning or operating such railroad refuses to station a flagman, erect gates, to be opened and closed when an engine or train passes, the commissioner of transportation may, upon application, order that a flagman be stationed at such point, or that gates shall be erected thereat, and that a person be stationed to open and close them when an engine or train passes, or may make such other order respecting the same as he deems proper.
2. Whenever the crossing by a railroad at grade of the streets, highways, turnpikes, plank-roads or traveled ways of any village or city, having a population by the last state or federal enumeration of less than fifty thousand, shall be protected by gates with persons to open and close the same or by any type of automatic protection, when an engine or train passes, the local authorities of the city or village shall not impose any limitation, less than forty miles an hour, on the rate of speed at which such engine or train shall be run, or enforce any existing limitation upon such rate of speed, less than forty miles an hour.