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Improving Safety at Level Crossings Australian Developments Dudley Roach Rail CRC Australia

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Dudley Roach. Rail CRC Australia. International Rail Research Board - Paris November 2005 ... Prior to 2002 considerable activity but little consistency or ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Improving Safety at Level Crossings Australian Developments Dudley Roach Rail CRC Australia


1
Improving Safety at Level Crossings Australian
Developments Dudley Roach Rail CRC Australia
2
Australian Railways
3
Action Plans
  • Prior to 2002 considerable activity but little
    consistency or coordination.
  • Important but uncoordinated initiatives by State
    Level Crossing Committees (SLCC), road agencies
    and the rail industry.
  • The Australian Railway Crossing Strategy
    Implementation Group (ARCSIG) was formed by the
    Australian Transport Council (ATC) via the
    governments' National Transport Coordinating
    Committee, the Standing Committee on Transport
    (SCOT) and its Rail Group.

4
Components of Railway Level Crossing Safety
5
Railway Level Crossing Safety Strategy and the
National Road Safety Action Plan 2003-2006
  • Developed by the Australian Transport Council

6
Level Crossings in Australia An Overview
  • 9400 Level Crossings in Australia
  • 'Active' railway level crossings
  • Automatic Signals and/or Boom Gates
  • (n 2649 or 28 in Australia)
  • 'Passive' railway level crossings
  • static signs and/or pavement markings
  • (n 6060 or 64 in Australia)

7
Actively Protected Crossing
8
Passively Protected Crossing
9
Level Crossings in Australia An Overview
  • Each year there are about 100 crashes between
    road vehicles and trains at level crossings in
    Australia.
  • These result in 8 fatalities on average.
  • Average 0.7 of fatal road crashes.
  • Number of fatalities per 100 fatal level crossing
    crashes was slightly higher than the number of
    fatal road crashes per 100 road crashes.

10
Big Bad Rail
  • In recent years the number of railway accident
    fatalities in Australia has fallen from 12/yr to
    8/yr.
  • Level crossing crashes are often severe and
    dramatic and are reported emotively in the media
    to the detriment of rail.
  • Level crossing fatal accidents still constitute
    about half of the national rail toll.
  • Average 0.7 of national road toll.

11
Upgrading
  • There are 6060 crossings with passive
    protection.
  • About 350,000 is needed to install boom gates,
    bells and flashing lights at a rail crossing.

12
A New Approach for Australia
  • Not financially viable to obtain an engineering
    upgrade solution.
  • The merits of human factor research needed to
    be tested.
  • Government funded programs focussed on factual
    information and law enforcement.
  • Improving drivers understanding and behaviour
    through training, information, education and
    awareness is justified.

13
The Development of a Community Intervention
Program for Level Crossing Education Evaluates
educational intervention programs targeting
different road user groups. Uses a
multidisciplinary approach drawing on
perspectives from psychology and sociology.
14
Objectives
  • Develop, trial and evaluate a research based,
    community intervention and education program to
    promote safe level crossing pedestrian and driver
    behaviour
  • Decrease the level of at risk pedestrian and
    vehicle driver behaviour at level crossings
  • Increase pedestrians and vehicle drivers
    knowledge of appropriate level crossing behaviour

15
Objectives (cont.)
  • Examine the current organizational and social
    context of level crossing safety
  • Develop a model and strategies for intersectoral
    collaboration to improve level crossing safety
  • Identify and quantify (through mathematical
    modeling) causes of rail accidents and subjective
    probabilities of occurrence of accidents from
    different groups of people

16
Benefits to Industry
  • Reduction in deaths and injuries
  • Reduction in litigation and financial costs
  • Raising the public profile and corporate
    responsibility
  • Leadership in managing safety risks
  • Development of strategic alliances and
    partnerships to sustain risk management processes

17
Activities
  • Target road drivers attitudes, knowledge,
    perceptions and behaviour.
  • Focus on heavy vehicles, older and younger
    driver samples.
  • Determining the key factors that contribute to
    unsafe driving behaviour.
  • Evaluates of road safety interventions needed
    to provide the rail industry with the necessary
    information to assist in implementation of
    strategies to improve level crossing safety in
    Australia.

18
Crash Statistics
  • Currently, exact statistics of LC incidents are
    difficult to determine.
  • Most jurisdictions in Australia use different
    methods of categorizing and recording crashes.
  • Lack of definitive evidence available relating to
    the extent and nature of level crossing crashes.

19
Level Crossing Crash Fatalities by Mode
of Transport (Australia 1997-2000)
20
Fatal Crashes
  • Sample of 87 fatal crashes
  • 66 point of impact at front of the train.
  • 16 at the side of the train.
  • Remaining being unknown.
  • 67 in a rural areas
  • 18 occurred in a capital city
  • Remainder of cases the location was unknown.

21
Fatal Crashes Cont.
  • Sample of 87 fatal crashes
  • 10 occurred at crossings with boom gates.
  • 41 at other actively protected crossings.
  • 44 at passively protected crossings.
  • Remaining being unclassified.

22
Fatal Crashes Cont.
  • Sample of 87 fatal crashes
  • 83 of crashes occurred in daylight (excluding
    dawn or dusk) .
  • 63 occurred on a weekday during the day.
  • 14 occurred at night.
  • 2 at dawn.
  • 1 at dusk.

23
Fatal Crashes Cont.
  • Sample of 87 fatal crashes
  • 85 occurred in fine weather.
  • 84 of crashes occurring on a dry road.
  • 46 due to unintended road user error.
  • compared with 22 of other fatal road crashes.
  • 26 of drivers were in the 60 age group
  • Compared with 10 in that age group for other
    fatal crashes.

24
Fatal Factor Comparisons
Factor Fatal Level Crossing Crashes Other Fatal Road Crashes
Adverse Weather or Road Conditions 13 9
Alcohol/Dugs 9 31
Fatigue 3 8
Unintended Driver Error 46 22
Excessive Speed 7 23
Other Risk Taking 3 5
25
Summary
  • Over 80 of fatal accidents at railway level
    crossings in Australia happen in daylight, in
    fine weather and on straight, dry roads.
  • And the majority of all accidents occur even
    with an appropriate warning system in place.

26
Summary
  • Unlike other fatal road crashes, accidents at
    railway crossings were less likely to involve
    fatigue, speeding, drugs or alcohol.
  • Instead these crashes were more likely to be
    attributed to driver error.

27
Behaviour
Reported Near Misses per Year
Queensland 673
Victoria 543
New South Wales 526
28
Focus Groups of Train Drivers
  • Interviews to explore train drivers experiences
    of
  • Incidents and near misses (including
    frequency, reporting, and characteristics).
  • Motorist behaviour observed at level crossings.
  • Vehicle types involved in level crossing
    incidents.
  • The impact of level crossing incidents on train
    crew.

29
Train Drivers Opinions
  • In non-urban areas
  • 60 of near misses are due to poor visibility
    (such as angle of approach).
  • 30-40 actually due to the motorist.
  • In urban areas
  • Impatient drivers evade the boom gates.
  • Traffic queued across the track gridlocked.
  • Trucks are particularly susceptible to gridlock.

30
Cameras at Level Crossings
  • RailCorp recently rolled out CCTV cameras across
    its network in NSW.
  • Signs tell if a camera is in operation.
  • Cameras monitor and record any offence or
    infringement, which may be reported to the Roads
    Traffic Authority or appropriate law
    enforcement agencies.
  • Data is analysed statistically for research
    purposes related to level crossing safety.

31
Level Crossing Safety Camera Program
  • Between August and November 2004, motorists
    were recorded over 28 separate days at a busy
    crossing with a high record for incidents..
  • The purpose of this filming was to find out
  • what sort of road rule offences were being
    committed at railway level crossings
  • how often these non compliances were occurring
  • how reliable traffic safety cameras are for
    collecting information on these behaviours.

32
Level Crossing Safety Camera Program
  • Over 5,000 offences during the 28 days of
    observation.
  • The three most common breaches of the road rules
    were
  • 64 - motorists racing the barrier while it was
    still opening after the train had passed
  • 24 - motorists entering the crossing even though
    the road ahead was blocked and they couldnt
    drive clear of the tracks without stopping. These
    are referred to as gridlock
  • 11 - motorists racing the barrier while it was
    closing.
  • Drivers committing gridlock offences are at the
    greatest
  • risk of being hit by a train.

33
Level Crossing Safety Camera Program
  • A second trial of the camera at the same location
    is currently occurring and is due to continue for
    a number of months.
  • A report on the results of the first trial is
    currently being finalised and will be released
    November 2005.
  • A location to erect another surveillance camera
    at a level crossing is currently being
    identified.

34
PROPOSALS TO UNDERTAKE RESEARCH INTO REDUCING
THE RISK OF CRASHES AT RAILWAY LEVEL CROSSINGS
IN AUSTRALIA
35
FIVE PROPOSED NEW PROJECTS
36
Project 1
Increasing The Conspicuity Of Locomotives and
Rollingstock
  • Outcomes
  • A comprehensive review of all options for
    enhancing locomotive conspicuity under Australian
    operating conditions.
  • Recommendations for improving locomotive
    conspicuity under Australian conditions.
  • Outcomes of visibility trials of the most
    promising conspicuity enhancement treatments
    under Australian operating conditions.
  • A definitive answer as to whether worthwhile
    conspicuity improvements can be made to
    locomotives under Australian conditions.

37
Project 2
Adequacy of Warning Signals for Road/Rail
Drivers With Colour Vision Deficiency.
  • Outcomes
  • Specifications developed as guidelines for the
    development of new warning signals to provide the
    least confusion to drivers with colour vision
    defects.
  • Field tests involving an examination of signals
    in operation to determine the optimum signals
    working characteristics.

38
Project 3
Ranking of the Safety of Passive Crossings
  • Outcomes
  • Project output will be a method for ranking the
    (un)safety of passive crossings that will allow
    efficient allocation of limited resources for
    remedial work.
  • The ranking system will be based on objective
    data as well as expert judgment.

39
Project 4
The Effect of Road Surface on Approaches to
Level Crossing on Drivers Awareness of Trains.
  • Outcomes
  • Examination of the distraction to drivers caused
    by the condition of the road surface. (potholes
    and corrugations).
  • Evaluation of the effectiveness of speed
    restricting devices such as speed bumps.
  • Evaluation of the effect of smooth road surface
    in the vicinity of the crossing in an otherwise
    poorly maintained road.
  • Simulated laboratory experiments costing is
    dependent on the scope of the project.

40
Project 5
The Consequences of Increased Train Speed and the
Liebowitz Illusion.
  • Outcomes
  • Examination of the illusion of velocity and size
    - the larger the object, the more slowly it
    appears to be moving.
  • (The Liebowitz Illusion).
  • Experimental data from the field and the
    laboratory using computer generated images as
    well as driving simulator experiments.

41
Thank You www.railcrc.cqu.edu.au
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