Rail Safety Bill Signed Into Law

Legislation Will Take Stock of Dangerous Rail Crossings, Improve Them

PRESS RELEASE – Governor Andrew Cuomo this week signed a bill into law that will allow for a comprehensive review of the state’s rail crossings. The evaluation of these dangerous crossings is geared towards improving the safety of New Yorkers.

The bill (S.3458/A.5235), sponsored by Senator David Carlucci in the Senate, will prioritize creating safe processes at all highway-rail crossings in the State, as well as a review of the adequacy of traffic and pedestrian warning signals. The legislation will give New York State the ability to provide a proper and professional evaluation on where the faulty rail lines are, and how much it would cost to fix them.

“There is a dire need to improve the rail infrastructure in our State,” said Senator Carlucci. “As our rail infrastructure continues to crumble, we’ve seen an increase in rail accidents, some of which have been right in our backyard. We need to seriously examine why the number of crossing accidents has increased in New York, and what we can do to fix them as soon as possible. Lives depend on it.”

Specifically, Carlucci’s legislation will examine:

· The safety of level-grade crossings and the feasibility of implementing design changes to increase safety and to reduce the likelihood of obstructions

· The adequacy of traffic and pedestrian warning signals

· Any federal funding available for safety improvement projects;

· The feasibility of equipping commuter trains with technology to increase safety

· Which level grade rail crossings are considered to be the most dangerous throughout the state

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