MTA, LIRR: 7 incidents at rail crossing in 2018

Posted: Updated:
WOODBURY -

Warning bells, flashing red lights and gates that come down on both sides are all warnings to drivers not to cross train tracks. But drivers still try to beat trains as seen in Westbury Tuesday night, when three people were killed in a vehicle that was struck and became sandwiched between two trains.

According to the MTA and Long Island Rail Road, there were 17 incidents at grade crossings in 2017. That number dropped to seven in 2018 -- a 58 percent decrease.

As part of the third rail project, which is renovating 10 miles of the LIRR's main line between Hicksville and Floral Park, seven grade level crossings are being eliminated. At two of them, the road is being closed off. The tracks will be elevated at the other five, including the crossing at School Street, where Tuesday's crash happened.

LIRR President Phillip Eng says people must be educated from an early age when it comes to rail crossing safety.

Video from Oceanside in October 2018 shows drivers risking their lives instead of waiting for a safe time to cross. Robert Sinclair, of AAA, says vehicles never stand a chance if struck by a train.

Between 2007 and 2017, the MTA and LIRR say there were six fatalities at the seven rail crossings being eliminated.

Read more:
Police: Vehicle in deadly train collision may have been fleeing prior crash
'People started panicking': Deadly train crash survivors share stories
Cleanup, repairs from deadly train crash could continue into next week

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