BUFFALO, N.Y. - At least 45 "X-LITE" guardrail devices remain on the roads in New York, according to the state's Department of Transportation, even though the equipment has been temporarily removed from the state's approved list of materials as questions continue to mount about the product nationwide.
NYSDOT confirmed that number after State Senator Cathy Young (R-Olean) revealed it in a news conference in Albany on Tuesday morning, marking the first time the department has publicly provided data on how many X-LITE guardrail end terminals have been installed in this state. The X-LITE terminal has been blamed for multiple traffic deaths in other states, including 17-year-old Fredonia native Hannah Eimers, who died after her car crashed into the device in East Tennessee last November.
On Tuesday afternoon, only hours after the news conference, Senator Young's legislation related to the X-LITE unanimously passed the Senate floor. The first bill, co-sponsored by Senator Tim Kennedy (D-Buffalo) and Senator Michael Ranzenhofer (R-Amherst), would prohibit the installation of the X-LITE on any state or local highway. The second bill asks NYSDOT to "study and report on the removal and use" of the X-LITE device.
The bills now head to the Assembly, where Assemblyman Ryan (D-Buffalo) is sponsoring the legislation.
"Hopefully we'll work very quickly to resolve this situation," Ryan said, "to make it so we don't have another senseless tragedy."
Hannah's father, Stephen, traveled to his home state on Tuesday to join Young, Ryan, Assemblyman Andrew Goodell (R-Jamestown) and Senator Joseph Robach (R-Rochester) at the state capitol. Stephen Eimers also met with representatives from NYSDOT and Gov. Cuomo's office while in Albany.
The full video and article can be read here.