ALBANY – Legislation that would require the state Department of Transportation to study all at-grade railroad crossings is now headed to the governor’s desk for action following State Senate approval of the bill that was prompted by crashes the likes of the fatal February 3, 2015 incident in which a car straddled tracks in Valhalla with a Metro-North commuter train ramming into it. The driver and five people on the train were killed.
The Assembly previously passed the bill sponsored by Assemblyman Thomas Abinanti (D-Greenburg). It passed in the Senate on Tuesday, sponsored by Senator David Carlucci (D, Nanuet). He noted that 244 people died at railroad crossings across the country last year, a number that has declined in recent years, while he said they are increasing in New York.
“That is why it is so important with the 5,304 rail crossings that we have in New York State, that the Department of Transportation do an inventory and rank and prioritize each rail crossing so we know where to focus,” Carlucci said.
Last Friday, Alan Brody, the husband of Ellen Brody, who was killed in the Valhalla incident last year, called on the Senate to pass the bill.