May 17, 2017

ALBANY — Standing alongside national highway safety advocate Stephen Eimers, Senator Catharine Young (R-Olean) Tuesday called on the Federal Highway Administration and the New York State Department of Transportation to ban the potentially dangerous guardrail systems and develop a plan to remove them from roadways across New York State.

Senator Young was joined at the press conference by Senate Standing Committee on Transportation Chairman Senator Joseph Robach, a co-sponsor on the legislation, and Assemblymen Sean Ryan and Andy Goodell, who sponsor the bills in their Chamber.

In November 2016, Hannah Eimers, who was born on September 11, 1999 in Fredonia, was killed in a heartbreaking accident in Tennessee when her vehicle left Interstate 75, crossed into the median and struck the guardrail. Tragically, instead of re-directing the car as it left the roadway, the guardrail penetrated the cabin of the car, killing Hannah instantly.

The Tennessee’s Department of Transportation sent a bill for $3,000 to replace the guardrail that killed her four months after she died, addressed to her at her parent’s home.

Because of the accident, Stephen Eimers, Hannah’s father, has become a national spokesperson for highway safety and a staunch advocate for the removal of the “X-Lite” guardrail systems from roadways. Mr. Eimers has traveled the country speaking about safety and developing a list of other fatalities that resulted from flaws in the “X-Lite” system, and similarly designed products. His concerns have been featured in USA Today and CBS This Morning.

After Mr. Eimers raised concerns because “X-Lite” products were on the roads in New York state and on the state’s list for approved guardrail systems, Young introduced legislation, Senate Bill 5427A, to address the situation.

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