Law for the Railroads.

Recent Enactments of State Legislatures and Latest Decisions
of the Courts of the Country Affecting Transportation.

The mere fact that a great many people have been in the habit of using a railroad trestle as a foot-bridge and that the railroad company had made no complaint, says the Court of Appeals of Kentucky, does not give the people any special rights on the bridge or compel the railroad company to exercise a special degree of care for their safety.

In deciding a suit arising from the delay of a shipment of threshers until after the season for the sale of such machinery had passed, the Kansas Supreme Court held that common carriers are charged with a "knowledge of seed-time and harvest" and the general customs relating thereto in the territory in which they do business.

According to a recent act of the legislature of that State, Florida railroads failing to pay a claim for loss or damages within ninety days must pay twenty-five per cent on the judgment obtained by the claimant in excess of the amount offered by the railroad in settlement of the claim.

Down in Georgia the supreme court has sagely concluded that an engineer is not justified in acting on the presumption that a child of "tender years " on a railroad track will appreciate its danger and use the discretion of an adult in getting out of the way of an approaching train.

California rejoices in a law making the circulation of fraudulent reports regarding the value of the stock of a corporation formed in the State a felony punishable by two years imprisonment or five thousand dollars' fine, or both.

In Minnesota railway, telegraph, and express stations must bear the local name of the community, unless it is liable to be confused with the names of other stations on the same line.

The State of Mississippi has effected an increase of about twelve million dollars in the amount of taxable property in the State by a recent readjustment in the assessment of railroads.

By the terms of a new statute in Michigan, in a suit by or against a railroad company, the books of the company are subject to the inspection of the attorney-general of the State.

A trolley company in Vermont whose cars fail to come to a full stop and display a signal at a grade railroad-crossing is subject to a fine of twenty-five dollars for each omission.

The Legislature of Washington, at its latest session, passed a law making the maximum railroad fare for adults three cents a mile and for children one and a half cents.

In Massachusetts the illegal sale of street railway transfers is made punishable by a fine not exceeding fifty dollars or imprisonment for not more than thirty days.

Virginia has found it necessary to pass a law declaring that for all legal purposes the words railroad and " railway " are to be considered synonymous.

California has made it a misdemeanor to transport cattle, sheep, or swine in car-load lots for more than thirty-six hours without stopping for ten hours' rest.

In South Carolina it has been made a misdemeanor for the conductor of a trolley-car to refuse to separate negroes and white people.

Railroads running within three miles of a county-seat in Oklahoma must build a line through the county-seat and establish a depot.

California makes the wrecking of a train or an engine a felony punishable by death or life imprisonment, at the option of the jury.

Intoxication while on duty is a misdemeanor for a railroad employee in California; and if death results, a felony.

Thirty States have State railroad commissions, twenty of which have power to fix rates on purely State traffic.

Montana requires its railroads to maintain a station at plotted townsites of one hundred inhabitants or more.

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