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Union orders slowing of subway trains after New York 'pusher' deaths

Subway trains in New York are entering stations more slowly because of a union safety directive made in the wake of deaths of two passengers pushed onto the tracks.

The city’s transit workers union put out advisory signs instructing drivers to take greater caution, but the MTA says the move throws off subway schedules and is counterproductive to straphanger safety.

The union says having trains enter stations more slowly helps train operators stop if someone suddenly jumps or gets pushed onto the tracks.

According to the union, the normal speed for trains to enter the station is 30 or 40 miles per hour. But after the union released advisories over the weekend, trains are entering stations closer to 10 miles per hour.

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The safety initiative comes in the wake of two recent incidents - one at 49th Streetanother in Queens - in which people were killed by trains after being pushed onto the tracks.

"They should come in slowly, at least tap on the brakes and ease their way in," said one straphanger. "Coming into the station, it's safety first."

But the MTA doesn't approve of the slowdown, saying it throws off the existing schedules and that there are other ways to make the system safer.

"Some of the actions they are recommending, if implemented, could result in even more hazardous conditions due to overcrowding on platforms and on board trains," an MTA spokesman said in a statement.