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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation H-82-047
Details
Synopsis: ON MARCH 14, 1982, A PRIVATELY OWNED SOUTHBOUND FORD VAN WAS STRUCK BY AN EASTBOUND COMMUTER PASSENGER TRAIN AT A RAILROAD/HIGHWAY GRADE CROSSING ON HERRICKS ROAD AND THE MAIN LINE OF THE LONG ISLAND RAILROAD IN MINEOLA, NASSAU COUNTY, NEW YORK. THE FORD VAN, OCCUPIED BY A TEENAGE DRIVER AND NINE TEENAGE PASSENGERS, HAD BEEN DRIVEN AROUND A PROPERLY FUNCTIONING LOWERED GATE WITH FLASHING LIGHTS ONTO THE CROSSING. FOLLOWING THE IMPACT, A MINOR FIRE WAS IGNITED IN THE VAN'S MOTOR COMPARTMENT. THE FIRE WAS QUICKLY EXTINGUISHED BY A LOCAL FIRE DEPARTMENT. NINE OF THE VAN OCCUPANTS WERE KILLED AND ONE PASSENGER WAS CRITICALLY INJURED. THERE WERE NO REPORTED INJURIES TO THE PASSENGERS OR CREW ABOARD THE COMMUTER TRAIN.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION: BASED ON THE FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION'S STUDY TO BE CARRIED OUT REGARDING THE LACK OF A STANDARD DISTANCE GAP BETWEEN THE ENDS OF CROSSING GATES AND THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD OR MEDIAN, ESTABLISH AND INCORPORATE SUCH A STANDARD INTO THE STATE MANUAL ON UNIFORM TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICES.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Highway
Location: Mineola, NY, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA82AH004
Accident Reports: ‚ÄčLong Island Railroad, Commuter Train / Ford Van Collision
Report #: RHR-82-02
Accident Date: 3/14/1982
Issue Date: 10/27/1982
Date Closed: 3/31/1983
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: State of New York, Department of Transportation (Closed--No Longer Applicable)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: State of New York, Department of Transportation
Date: 3/31/1983
Response:

From: State of New York, Department of Transportation
To: NTSB
Date: 12/7/1982
Response: NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION LETTER: THE SUBJECT OF APPROPRIATE STANDARDS CONCERNING A DISTANCE GAP BETWEEN THE ENDS OF CROSSING GATES AND THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD OR MEDIAN HAS ALREADY BEEN ADDRESSED IN THE NEW STATE MANUAL OF UNIFORM TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICES (MUTCD) WHICH WILL BE ISSUED SHORTLY. THE MANUAL WILL READ AS FOLLOWS "WHEN LOWERED, GATES SHALL EFFECTIVELY BLOCK ALL APPROACH LANES, THE ADJACENT SHOULDER, AND ALL SIDEWALKS. GATES SHOULD BE PERPENDICULAR TO THE ROADWAY OR SIDEWALK UNLESS CONDITIONS WARRANT PLACEMENT AT A DIFFERENT ANGLE. EACH ROADWAY GATE SHOULD EXTEND TO WITHIN ONE FOOT OF THE LEFT EDGE OF THE APPROACH."