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Suicides Prompt Extra Safeguards For New Tappan Zee Bridge

The new Tappan Zee Bridge will include extra safety precautions.
The new Tappan Zee Bridge will include extra safety precautions. Photo Credit: File

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. – With Scarsdale-native Karl Peterson becoming the latest to take his own life in a dive off the Tappan Zee Bridge, many have questioned what safety measures will be put in place on the new bridge.

Outside of six viewing areas along the course of the three-mile bridge, the new bridge will be lined with anti-climbing fences, while marine patrols will be increased and emphasized.

At the scenic viewing areas, there will be stainless steel netting to catch potential jumpers. Additionally, the same safeguards that are currently in place will also be carried over to the new bridge in greater quantity.

Currently, there are suicide prevention phones and signs warning that “life is worth living.” Other safeguards include suicide fencing and traffic cameras, but unstable people have still managed to commit suicide by jumping.

Suicides and attempted suicides on the bridge are something that has plagued state and local police officials for years.

There have been many high profile suicides on the Tappan Zee Bridge that have caught national attention.

In the summer of 2011, a pair of Cornell University graduates jumped, with one casualty .

Anne Morell Petrillo, after leaving a note to her family in 2009, also committed suicide by leaping off the bridge. Notoriously, Scott Douglas also jumped to his death in 1994 after murdering his wife, Anne Scripps.

The most recent suicide, Peterson , “blindsided” his family and he failed to leave a note behind. According to state police, he was driving north on the bridge shortly before 5:30 a.m. on April 9 when he stopped his SUV and took the plunge into the water. His body was recovered after less than a half hour by Westchester County Police and Tarrytown fire officials.

In all dozens of New Yorkers have taken their lives at the bridge since it was erected in 1955. According to reports, the new Tappan Zee Bridge will feature extra safety precautions to discourage potential jumpers.

What measures would you like to see put in place on the new Tappan Zee Bridge to dissuade jumpers? Continue the conversation in the comments section below.