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Recent Lincoln Tunnel collision raises safety questions and concerns

For New York City area residents, the Lincoln and Holland tunnels and George Washington Bridge provide a means to both get into and out of the city. Daily, an estimated 470,000 vehicles travel along these routes to get to work, important appointments and back home.

A traffic accident that occurred earlier this week in the Lincoln Tunnel shed light on the dangers involved with motor vehicle accidents that occur in tunnels or on bridges. Additionally, the city's response to the accident also raised concerns about inadequate safety and emergency and rescue preparedness and operations.

The accident occurred around 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 10 when a New Jersey Transit bus rear-ended a charter bus in the Lincoln Tunnel. In total, approximately 86 bus passengers were involved in the bus collision. A reported 31 individuals who were on the transit bus suffered injuries, four of whom suffered injuries to their necks or backs and had to be carried out of the tunnel via stretchers.

City authorities note that Port Authority vehicles are stationed close to the tunnel’s entrance to respond to any crashes and remove stalled or disabled vehicles. This particular crash resulted in several other drivers and passengers being stranded, many for hours in the dark and claustrophobic tunnel.

This recent accident helps illustrate some of the dangers and uncertainties that commuters in the city face on a daily basis. Thankfully, reports indicate that no one in this specific accident was critically or fatally injured. However, one can only imagine the devastation, serious injuries and loss of life that could result in the case of a multiple-vehicle pile-up or motor vehicle explosion or fire.

Source: The New York Times, "Lincoln Tunnel Bus Collision Injures at Least 31, Snarling Traffic," Emma G. Fitzsimmons, June 10, 2015

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