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Massachusetts Cites Railings As Factor in Recent Fatalities

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Following the eighth traffic death linked to tunnel railings in Boston, the Massachusetts Dept. of Transportation released a report in April recommending that some of the Sumner Tunnel's 58,000 railings be removed or covered. According to state police, a truck driver from Salem, Mass., died on March 27, when he was thrown from his vehicle into handrails after hitting a Jersey barrier while exiting the tunnel at high speed without a seat belt. Recommendations include removing 14% or roughly 8,000 linear ft of maintenance walkway railing not needed for emergency egress, covering some railing in curved areas with chain link fence mesh and improving signage. A spokesman for Massachusetts Senate President Therese Murray (D) says she has called for a safety review of the railing. Cost and timing for the work has yet to be determined.

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