MOUNT PLEASANT, N.Y. -- Metropolitan Transportation Authority police have written more summonses for driving violations during the first three months of 2015 than all of last year at railroad crossings, according to a spokesman for the MTA.
MTA police issued 137 summonses at Metro-North grade crossings so far this year and 189 at Long Island Railroad grade crossings, for a total of 326 summonses, according to MTA spokesman Aaron Donovan. The total does not include tickets issued by local police.
Of those, nearly 100 summonses were for running the railroad gates, according to the MTA. The remainder were for other driving offenses such as texting or not wearing a seat belt.
By comparison, for all of 2014, grade crossing summonses totaled 212 for both Metro-North and the LIRR combined, Donovan said on Wednesday.
Summonses were issued through the course of 447 "details" at grade crossings, to use the police parlance --or stakeouts with officers in marked MTA police cars waiting at grade crossings, Donovan said.
MTA police officers also have issued 87 written warnings at Metro-North rail crossings and handed out safety pamphlets to 166 drivers, according to the MTA.
Local and regional officials gathered by the Roaring Brook Road grade railroad crossing in Chappaqua on Tuesday to push for improved safety. The officials emphasized stepping up traffic enforcement and education to reduce dangerous incidents.
Since officials held their first press conference in early March, there have been two serious safety incidents at the Chappaqua grade crossing. The first involved a driver who got stuck and clipped a gate by backing out, while the second involved a van that crashed into the gate. The first driver was issued a summons for stopping, while the second driver got away.
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