July 25, 2017 –The National Transportation Safety Board met today to determine the probable cause of the February 3, 2015 Train and Car Collision at a Grade Crossing in Valhalla, New York.
Statement from State Assemblyman David Buchwald: “The Valhalla crash claimed six lives; four were residents of my State Assembly district. Metro-North and the New York State DOT should unequivocally commit to implement the NTSB’s safety recommendations on as expeditious a schedule as feasible. The NTSB determinations are a sobering reminder of the need to constantly monitor our at-grade rail crossing safety warning systems, and vigorously enforce rail crossing safety laws.”
“In the wake of the Valhalla tragedy, I sponsored the Rail Safety Act of 2016 in the State Assembly which was passed and signed by Governor Cuomo. The new law required increased Department of Transportation inspections of all traffic signals interconnected with at-grade rail crossing warning systems. To protect our citizens we must remain ever diligent in making certain safety systems at rail crossings are in perfect working order. Furthermore, we must continue to educate the public about rail crossing safety and make sure our law enforcement agencies are strictly enforcing our rail crossing safety laws.”
Assemblyman David Buchwald sponsored a law enacted in 2016 (Chapter 501 of the Laws of 2016) that required more stringent safety inspections at grade-level railroad crossings; aligned state requirements with federal regulations on railroad bridge inspections; and increased penalties on railroad companies that do not comply with various state laws and on drivers who commit railroad crossing violations.