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Staying safe on subway and train platforms

Sometimes it feels like one of the most dangerous places you can be in New York City is on a subway or train platform. With trains whizzing by, people pushing and shoving and just inches or a few feet between you and the tracks, it's essential to be extremely cautious.

The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA), which is in charge of the city's mass transit operations, offers some simple yet vital tips for staying safe on platforms.

Stand back. Stay behind the yellow line on the platform until your train has arrived and stopped. If you have children with you, hold their hands and be sure they're also behind the line. Don't even lean over it to watch for your train. It's too easy to get pushed or to fall forward.

Stay off the tracks. That may sound like common sense. However, people too often try to retrieve something they drop on to the tracks. (That's another reason to stand back!) You can replace your phone or just about anything you might drop. It's not worth risking your life for. The tracks are electrically charged, so even if no train is in sight, they're dangerous. You can report a dropped item to MTA police or personnel if you absolutely need to get it back eventually.

Get help if you see someone in distress. We've all seen people in the subway stations who seemed to be having a mental or physical health issue or perhaps were under the influence. It's natural to want to offer assistance. However, they could end up putting you in danger, intentionally or unintentionally – particularly if they're close to the edge of the platform. Instead, alert an MTA officer or employee. If you don't see one, use one of the Help Point intercoms.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury on a platform that you believe could or should have been prevented by the MTA or other municipal entity, it's wise to seek legal guidance.

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