Officials in Rockland County say that they are moving to install new technology at train crossings to make them safer for drivers. As we have reported in our blog, there have been several high-profile train accidents in New York over the last two years.
The upgrade comes after six people were killed on February 3 in Westchester when a Metro-North train collided with an SUV. According to the Associated Press, a woman whose SUV was hit by the train at a crossing died, along with five men aboard the train. The accident remains under investigation. However, the investigation could take several months to complete. Additionally, the Westchester accident comes after a Metro-North train accident in the Bronx killed four passengers and injured 60 people in 2013.
According to ABC News, the federal government has earmarked $3.5 million to upgrade over two dozen rail crossings in Rockland County. The county would be responsible for adding an additional $3.5 million.
The technology reportedly includes the installation of four-quadrant gates at select rail crossings. The gates would have four arms, making it difficult for people to drive around them. The technology may be needed, as investigators have said that about 25 percent of people killed at rail crossings are in vehicles that try to move around gates.
“There are two gates on either side which will essentially close off the crossing from any vehicle being able to get into the crossing during the time the train is coming,” said Susan Meyer, of the Rockland County Planning Department, according to ABC News.
In addition to the gate change, new technology would be introduced at some crossings, including sensors that will allow a vehicle to move should the gates come down on it, trapping it.
Speaking to a Lawyer Following a Train Accident
Remember, train accidents often involve a complex investigation process that can take several months or years to complete. Several parties might share a degree of responsibility for a crash, including equipment manufacturers, subcontractors, municipalities, drivers and private companies.
This is why speaking to an attorney may prove to be important. In addition to an agency investigation, an attorney can conduct an independent examination of the accident to help determine fault.
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Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C. – Injury Lawyers
KGG’s Corner: There are more than 5,300 railroad crossings in New York.