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February 16, 2012

There were 51 deaths as a result of NJ Transit train incidents along the tracks in the past two years, out of a total of 81 occurrences. Of those 51 deaths, 30 were considered accidental or undetermined, and 23 occurred along tracks where the public is not permitted.

After the most recent tragedies involving the October 2011 deaths of three teenagers in two incidents, NJ Transit and the state Department of Transportation developed a short-term action plan aimed at preventing similar tragedies. Recommendations include development of a rail-safety database, which will track and analyze crash statistics and land-use variables in order to prioritize engineering improvements; immediate deployment of dynamic message signs warning pedestrians of approaching trains; development of a major public education campaign targeted at youths regarding railroad safety; and a comprehensive re-inspection of rail, light rail, and bus systems to look for areas where additional safety measures can be put into operation.

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