August 12, 2010

MTA's Gap Rap

If you ride the LIRR, you may have noticed the profusion of signs in recent years to "Watch The Gap".  Continuing this program to educate the public about the dangers of falling through the gap between the station platform and train, the MTA has now put out a "Gap Rap".  The rap was created by the LIRR's medical director Dr. John Clarke.  He's not a rapper but he plays one on YouTube, having already created a rap for the MTA's H1N1 educational program last fall.  The MTA's website says the Gap Rap is "MTV ready".  Well, let's just say the MTA should probably stick to the business of getting the trains to run on time.

The interesting story behind this story, though, is the gap safety program itself.  In 2006, a teenager named Natalie Smead fell through the gap at Woodside and was killed by a train.  Her family sued the MTA and won a very substantial multi-million dollar settlement.  It was this death and lawsuit (which revealed that there had been hundreds of gap-related accidents) that forced the MTA to address the issue of the unusually wide gaps on the LIRR.  In addition to signage everywhere as well as posters and PSA's, the MTA has actually filled in the gap at many LIRR platforms.  

So this "Gap Rap" is the latest measure in the MTA's recent gap education program to prevent further accidents, deaths and massive lawsuits.

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