The warning tones, the flashing red lights, and the gates that come down on both sides are all warnings to drivers not to cross the tracks. The drivers are still trying to beat the trains, as we saw on Tuesday night in Westbury, when three people were killed in a vehicle that was hit and sandwiched between two trains.
According to the MTA and Long Island Rail Road, there were 17 crossing incidents in 2017. This number dropped to seven in 2018 – a 58% decrease.
As part of the third rail project, which consists of renovating 10 miles of the LIRR main line between Hicksville and Floral Park, seven crossings are being removed. At two of them, the road is closed. The tracks will be elevated to the other five, including the School Street crossing, where the accident occurred on Tuesday.
LIRR President Phill Eng Eng said people need to be educated at an early age on crossing safety.
An Oceanside video in October 2018 shows drivers who risk their lives instead of waiting for a safe time to cross. Robert Sinclair, of AAA, said the vehicles had no chance of being hit by a train.
Between 2007 and 2017, the MTA and LIRR reported that six fatalities at the seven crossings had been eliminated.
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