ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — New York state is looking to change the way rail crossings are inspected in an effort to reduce collisions and deaths.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo and top lawmakers announced a proposal on Monday that would require inspections of rail crossing equipment every two years at minimum. The measure would also increase penalties for railroad companies that violate safety rules and motorists who drive around lowered gates.
“We have over 5,300 rail crossings in New York and we found that a lot of it is outdated,” State Sen. David Carlucci said.
At a crossing, the railroad, state and local municipalities share responsibility, and the agreement ensures all parties are on the same page, WCBS 880’s Sean Adams reported.
Carlucci said the state’s Department of Transportation will oversee inspections.
“Make sure that the equipment is not faulty, that if the equipment needs to be replaced that it can be, that we can increase technology,” Carlucci said.
The policy is expected to be formally approved by the state Legislature before it adjourns later this week.
Cuomo has said improving rail crossing safety is one of his top priorities for the remainder of the session.
The proposal comes after several high-profile deaths following collisions between cars and trains in the state, including a February 2015 crash and subsequent fire that left six people dead after an SUV got stuck on the Metro-North tracks in Valhalla.
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