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Rail News: Safety

New York Senate OKs bill calling for statewide study of grade crossings


The New York State Senate on Tuesday passed a bill that would require the state's department of transportation to conduct a comprehensive statewide study of grade crossings.

The study is aimed at determining what safety improvements must be made in order to prevent future collisions at New York's more than 5,300 crossings, according to a press release issued by New York Sen. David Carlucci (D-Clarkstown), who sponsored the bill.

In March, the New York Assembly passed the bill, which now awaits Gov. Andrew Cuomo's signature.

The bill was created in part to address grade crossing safety following a deadly February 2015 train-car collision in Valhalla, N.Y. The incident left six people dead and 15 injured.

"In the aftermath of the Valhalla crash, many wondered what needed to be done to prevent another tragedy," Carlucci said. "With the passage of this bill, the Department of Transportation now has the tools to undertake a comprehensive study of rail grade crossings throughout the state to ensure problem crossings are improved or, if necessary, removed."

The bill is one of four crossing safety bills currently being considered by the New York legislature. One bill calls for raising the number of points for a traffic violation at a crossing, while another would require cameras at crossings, according to Rochester's Democrat and Chronicle.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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