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LIRR Will Implement New Crash Prevention Technology

The Long Island Rail Road had a goal of installing brand new, federally required crash prevention technology by the end of 2020. While time was beginning to run out on LIRR, officials were confident they would meet the December 31 deadline set by the Federal Railroad Administration.

With six weeks remaining before the end of the year, LIRR had the tech up and running on 98 percent of its rails.

Positive train control

LIRR had to install the new technology on 305 miles of track by the end of the year, or else be subject to massive fines every day. The technology is a “positive train control” system, which was mandated by congress in 2008 after a train crash in California.

This system uses communications technology in and around tracks that automatically slows or stops trains if they violate signals. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, this technology could have saved at least 60 people killed in train accidents over the last decade, including four people who died in an accident in December 2013 in the Bronx.

The original deadline for LIRR to complete the project was 2015, but it received extensions twice. This time, if it failed to meet its deadline, it would be fined up to $28,000 per day. The project has been plagued by years of delays, cost issues, and failures with design and installation.

The positive train control technology is now used on 99.6 percent of all rail tracks throughout the United States, and only one was considered at risk of missing its deadline—New Jersey Transit.

For more information about the steps you should take if injured in a public transportation accident, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer at Jakubowski, Robertson, Maffei, Goldsmith & Tartaglia LLP.