MTA Considers Alarm System for Fallen Passengers

03/19/2013 // New York City, New York , USA // New York City Accident Lawyer // Jonathan C Reiter // (press release)

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is looking into whether a track intrusion system would alert transit workers when someone has fallen or jumped onto a subway platform, according to officials concerned about the approximately 135 people who are struck by trains in a typical year. In 2012, 141 people were hit by a train, reports New York City injury lawyer Jonathan C. Reiter.

Tom Prendergrast, MTA interim executive director, said features such as laser beams could detect when a person fell into the off-limits area, helping officials and drivers react more quickly to potentially deadly situations.

According to Prendergast, “You could tie it into an alarm system, flashing lights, things out of that nature, to warn people someone is on the roadbed, or out in the safe location of the platform. It’s primarily used for security reasons but we’d look to use it here for safety.”

This is the latest proposal by the MTA to prevent injuries and deaths within the city’s subways. Last year, the agency reported it would install platform doors at one station along the L train.

Prendergast reported the cost of providing such doors to the entire system would cost approximately $1billion – which is prohibitively costly to the authority.

While some drivers have asked to enter the stations at a slower speed, they were answered with the excuse that slower speeds would exacerbate crowding and make platforms more dangerous.

The largest group (38%) of riders struck is straphangers who simply trip on their way off the train. The second group is people who are intoxicated via alcohol or drugs, at 25%. Some 23% are suicides or attempted suicides.

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