LIRR Goes Pop with "Gap Rap"

By Hasani Gittens
|  Friday, Jul 16, 2010  |  Updated 6:36 AM EDT
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LIRR Goes Pop with "Gap Rap"

LIRR/YouTube

Dr. Clarke raps

Subway and train riders everywhere are told to "mind the gap," but that warning doesn't really have a rhythm you can dance to.

So the Long Island Rail Road has enlisted its own version of Dr. Dre -- Medical Director John Clarke, M.D., F.A.A.F.P. -- to sing the "Gap Rap," which targets train safety.

In a nearly 4-minute video posted on YouTube, Dr. Clarke, still wearing his physicians white coat, leads a group of fifth graders from Lindell School on Long Beach through the Gap Rap, which even has its own dance.

The chorus, "Look down, step over and watch the gap," is actually quite catchy.

“I recognize that gap accidents are quite preventable.  I knew that Health-Hop would be a perfect way to spread the message and make an impact," Clarke said of the effort.

You may remember Dr. Clarke from the spring of 2009 when he grabbed headlines after making a "Swine Flu" rap video.

His latest cut is filled with cute rhymes like, "Advice is what I can provide/ so when you have to ride/ you'll be safe where the gap is wide!"

“Dr. Clarke’s innovative approach will help the LIRR continue to spread the word about gap safety," said LIRR President Helena Williams. "I’m hopeful this unique video will keep our gap message fresh and reach a wide audience, especially our younger travelers.”

The LIRR undertook a broad campaign to reduce gap accidents through increased awareness and by physically reducing the size of the spaces between train and platform. That change followed the death of  Natalie Smead, 18, in August 2006. She was killed by a LIRR train in Woodside after falling into a gap.

According to the LIRR, so far in 2010, the agency has experienced a reduction in year-to-date (January 1 to July 1) reported gap incidents of 15 percent (33 gap incidents in 2010 versus 39 gap incidents in 2009).

If Dr. Clarke's rap warning proves successful, perhaps next he can tackle the sing-songy "See Something/Say Something" campaign.

Watch the video here:

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