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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation H-82-048
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: PROVIDE GUIDELINES IN THE NEW YORK STATE MANUAL ON UNIFORM TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICES ON THE USE OF TRAFFIC DIVISIONAL ISLANDS TO DETER MOTORISTS FROM DRIVING AROUND LOWERED RAILROAD CROSSING GATES.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Alternate 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Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: State of New York, Department of Transportation (Closed--No Longer Applicable)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 INTENT OF THE NEW YORK STATE MUTCD IS NOT TO PROVIDE GUIDELINES FOR THE DESIGN OR USE OF TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICES BUT RATHER TO ESTABLISH STANDARDS FOR THEIR CORRECT INSTALLATION. NEW YORK'S HIGHWAY DESIGN MANUAL AND THE AASHTO DESIGN BOOKS BOTH CONTAIN GUIDELINES AND DETAILED DESIGN INFORMATION FOR TRAFFIC ISLANDS, ALTHOUGH THEIR SPECIFIC APPLICATION AS A DETERRENT FOR MOTORISTS CIRCUM VENTING A LOWERED CROSSING GATE HAS NOT GENERALLY BEEN CONSIDERED. IN THE FUTURE, IF ALL CONVENTIONAL METHODS OF IMPROVING CROSSING SAFETY ARE EXHAUSTED, WE WILL STUDY THE FEASIBILITY OF USING TRAFFIC DIVISIONAL ISLANDS.