Warning Systems Could Reduce Subway Track Deaths
The state Public Transportation Safety Board last week suggested giving motormen wireless video feeds to allow them to make sure the tracks are clear all the way to the next station.
Cost-conscious transit officials turned a cold shoulder to the proposal, instead moving ahead with a plan to increase the number of intercoms on subway platforms so riders who spot trouble can call for help.
Dozens of people are killed annually when they fall to the tracks or meet with foul play that ends up taking their lives, authorities said.
Transit officials continually warn straphangers urging them to think before they try to retrieve items dropped on subway tracks, in case they fall.
“Risking your life to retrieve dropped items is just not worth it,” MTA spokesperson Mark Groce said.
Groce said there is no way straphangers can determine if they have enough time to get out of the way of oncoming trains that travel at speeds up to 30 mph. Riders can also be killed by touching or falling on the electrified third rail, he said.
If you drop a cellphone, handbag, laptop computer, iPod, an article of clothing or other item on the tracks, seek help from a police officer, transit employee or by using a customer assistance intercom located on all subway stations.
Let someone with knowledge of the system help you. Ask someone to shut down service and retrieve your possession. Do not attempt to retrieve it yourself, officials said.
City transit officials have agreed to provide the state panel with statistics on track accidents and deaths, along with data on the effectiveness of communication during track emergencies and how long it takes to alert train crews that there is a person on the tracks.