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New "Gap Rap" Video Targets Gap Safety; Rappin' LIRR Doc & School Kids Take It to the Streets (and Trains)

Gap Rap Yo

Safety Message Aims at Wide Audience

The LIRR is taking its gap safety message to another level with the release of a new video that looks like it's fresh from MTV. The "Gap Rap" Video co-stars the railroad's medical director Dr. John Clarke and a group of fifth grade students from the Lindell School in Long Beach, NY. The video, filmed earlier this year at such New York City landmarks as Madison Square Garden and Times Square and the Long Beach LIRR Station, was shot, produced and edited in-house by the LIRR Audio-Visual and Public Affairs Departments.

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 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."

Long Beach School District Lindell School Principal Karen Sauter, whose students participated in the video, said, "We're proud that Mr. Gill's class along with teaching assistant Ms. Geraghty was able to participate in this video. We hope that it raises peoples' consciousness about the gap."

So far in 2010 the LIRR has experienced a reduction in year-to-date (January 1-July 1) reported gap incidents of 15% (2010-33 gap incidents vs. 2009-39 gap incidents). Gap incidents declined by 35% in 2009.

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.

The "Gap Rap" Video can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HszwgEdnOQw