July 16, 2010

Long Island RR "Gap Rap" video targets platform gap safety


Dr. John Clarke, LIRR's medical director, leads a group of fifth graders, during a public service video promoting awareness of platform gaps.


The MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) recently released a public service video targeting gap safety via an entertaining rap performance.

The public service video features "The Gap Rap", written by and co-starring LIRR’s Medical Director Dr. John Clarke.

During his nearly four-minute video, Dr. Clarke exhorts customers to be aware of their surroundings as they travel on the railroad. The fast moving, LIRR-produced rap video features Dr. Clarke, wearing his physician’s white coat, leading a group of fifth graders from Lindell School in Long Beach as they travel on the LIRR, in Manhattan, and on Long Island, all the while harmonizing to the beat as they remind us to “Look down, step over and watch the gap.”

LIRR President Helena Williams said, “Dr. Clarke’s innovative approach will help the LIRR continue to spread the word about gap safety. I’m hopeful this unique video will keep our gap message fresh and reach a wide audience, especially our younger travelers.”

Dr. Clarke, who captured wide media attention for his award-winning public service announcement H1N1 Flu Rap, was enthusiastic about his new video, “I recognize that gap accidents are quite preventable. I knew that Health-Hop would be a perfect way to spread the message and make an impact.”

So far in 2010 the LIRR has experienced a reduction in year-to-date (January 1-July 1) reported gap incidents of 15 percent (2010-33 gap incidents vs. 2009-39 gap incidents).

Dr. Clarke’s video is the latest effort by the LIRR to raise awareness of the gap and to help assure that the traveling public safely steps over this necessary space between trains and station platforms. Railroad initiatives have included special Be Train Smart brochures, posters, signs, and celebrity gap announcements at stations and by train crews.

The railroad has also made a concerted effort to reduce the gap through engineering and operating solutions. Since 2007, more than 121,000 linear feet of one-inch platform edging board has been installed at LIRR stations to help reduce the horizontal gap. In addition, where necessary, measures to reduce vertical platform gaps an average of three inches have been taken at 42 stations. Some 836 train cars have also been retro-fitted with two-inch threshold plates marked “Watch The Gap,” further reducing the gap space.  

 METRO TV: To watch "The Gap Rap" video, click here.

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