The MTA has rolled out some new videos to warn drivers who cross any of the Long Island Rail Road's 295 grade crossings. The narrator says, "It only takes a fraction of a second to make a very bad decision," while a train destroys a car that was crossed the tracks, in spite of the gates being down.
In another PSA, the narrator notes, "Cars can stop on dime, Trains can’t. At 60 miles per hour, it takes up to a mile for an engineer to bring his train to a complete halt. Please wait for the gate."
The MTA used computer-generated cars and collisions, but the last image is a real wrecked car and damaged train. According to the MTA, "The occupants of the car were killed. The engineer was able to vacate his damaged cab just before it was engulfed in fire." LIRR President Helena Williams said, "Sadly, it’s a scene that plays out too often. The safety of our customers, our employees and everyone who transverses our right of way is always our top priority. We have addressed the crossing gate problem in public service announcements time and again over the years and felt it was time to raise our voice once more."
This year, there have been 9 crossing incidents with cars or pedestrians; six people died. The MTA says, "In 2012, there were 11 incidents and again six people were killed, though three of those were suicides. That was a marked increase over 2011 when there were six incidents and two fatalities, one a suicide. In 2010, there four incidents, but no deaths."
Back in 2010, the MTA was concerned with people not watching the gap between platform and train cars and utilized a rapping LIRR doctor. That one will never be topped.