Lawmaker seeks end to Tappan Zee Bridge jumps

Posted: Updated:

Rockland County Legislature Chairwoman Harriet Cornell is meeting with officials to curb Tappan Zee Bridge suicide jumps.

On Tuesday, a Pearl River man drove across the span, got out of his car and jumped. No one had time to talk him down. That suicide was the fifth so far this year.

Cornell has met with New York State Thruway Authority officials. "They indicated they were working with the New York State Department of Mental Health to create an awareness training program, which would not be mandatory but available to Thruway workers," Cornell said.

In addition to giving bridge workers the needed tools to talk down potential jumpers, Cornell is pushing for a campaign to alert people about available mental health programs.

Last year, suicide prevention hotline phones were place on both sides of the bridge, but officials said no one has used them. Higher guardrails are also being installed to make it more difficult for people to jump.

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