New Report Aims To Bolster Rail Safety In Jersey
Following several fatal accidents on or near NJ Transit rail lines at the end of last year, a Rail Safety Committee was formed – and has now issued a new report with several recommendations about how to better protect Garden state residents near train tracks.
Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner Jim Simpson says the suggestions revolve around three complimentary safety spheres – education, enforcement, and engineering.
“Engineering is basically to take a look at the geography of all the rail grade crossings and the right of ways” he says, “looking to see what can we do vis a vie signs, better gates, better signals.”
He says in some locations, a pilot program will be launched that will include “Second Train Coming” warning signs.
“When the gates are down and one train passes people think okay, the gates must be going up” says Simpson, “and they continue to walk – and unfortunately they’re struck by a train coming in the opposite direction- like that youngster- that 13 year old up in Garfield.”
The Commissioner adds the report also recommends expanding NJ Transit’s Rail School Safety Program, implementing a generalized public education campaign, and stepped up enforcement at stations deemed to be high risk – where residents are regularly observed ducking under flashing gates, and jumping over fences near railroad tracks.