New Alarm System Of Lasers Is MTA's Latest Proposal To Stop Subway Deaths

We've heard about the platform doors on the L train. We've told you about the Transport Workers Union Local telling conductors to hit the brakes more. And we've gone over the 'emergency meeting' called by City Councilman James Vacca next week to discuss what the hell the MTA and straphangers alike can do about this subway death epidemic facing the City.

So, at this point, we'll take anything we can get.

Yesterday, the Daily News reported on the latest from the transportation heads: an alarm system that will send off all sorts of noises and signals if someone falls into the tracks. Interim head Thomas Pendergast announced on Monday that laser beams, typically used for security, could sense when someone is in an unwarranted area (like, uh, on the tracks). Once activated, the laserz would set off the alarms to get the conductors attention.

Hopefully, he or she would have enough time to react in order for the person to pull themselves out of harm's way.

Luckily, we have something to work with here: this system is currently in use on PATH trains. This gives the idea a bit more steam than the experimental platform doors one, especially because it's much less expensive (price tag for aforementioned proposal: around $1 billion for the whole subway system).

Also, it's hands-on, as opposed to the original proposals made by the MTA - a few of which have already been put in place. These include an aggressive information campaign on the topic and new announcements over the speaker that reaffirm the eternal truths we all know so well by now about that damn yellow line.

It's to be assumed that more of these ideas will pop up from all parties involved before next week's "emergency hearing." The Voice will keep you updated.


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Laser alarms are going to do little to stop a deranged person gone amuck, nor will it help safeguard someone who has become lightheaded or ill. Even something like this, taken in Seattle in 2002, would be  abetter safeguard.

So how many stations with how many linear feet? This would put some people to work. And if you use a set screw fitting clamp rail system, installation can be done by almost unskilled labor. But real labor almost unthought of these days. Laser is the easy way out and offers little to no true benefit.

Pic is my copyright - you can use if you wish.

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