Use of ITS to improve level crossings safety : open issues

Rakotonirainy, Andry, Soole, David, & Larue, Gregoire (2010) Use of ITS to improve level crossings safety : open issues. In 11th World Level Crossing Symposium (GLX) : Toward further improvement of level crossing safety - Coordinated approach and individual efforts, 26-29 October 2010, Tokyo, Japan.

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Level crossing crashes have been shown to result in enormous human and financial cost to society. According to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) [5] a total of 632 Railway Level crossing (RLX) collisions, between trains and road vehicles, occurred in Australia between 2001 and June 2009. The cost of RLX collisions runs into the tens of millions of dollars each year in Australia [6]. In addition, loss of life and injury are commonplace in instances where collisions occur. Based on estimates that 40% of rail related fatalities occur at level crossings [12], it is estimated that 142 deaths between 2001 and June 2009 occurred at RLX. The aim of this paper is to (i) summarise crash patterns in Australia, (ii) review existing international ITS interventions to improve level crossing and (iii) highlights open human factors research related issues. Human factors (e.g., driver error, lapses or violations) have been evidenced as a significant contributing factor in RLX collisions, with drivers of road vehicles particularly responsible for many collisions. Unintentional errors have been found to contribute to 46% of RLX collisions [6] and appear to be far more commonplace than deliberate violations. Humans have been found to be inherently inadequate at using the sensory information available to them to facilitate safe decision-making at RLX and tend to underestimate the speed of approaching large objects due to the non-linear increases in perceived size [6]. Collisions resulting from misjudgements of train approach speed and distance are common [20]. Thus, a fundamental goal for improved RLX safety is the provision of sufficient contextual information to road vehicle drivers to facilitate safe decision-making regarding crossing behaviours.

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ID Code: 39205
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > CIVIL ENGINEERING (090500) > Transport Engineering (090507)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > TRANSPORTATION AND FREIGHT SERVICES (150700) > Rail Transportation and Freight Services (150702)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > Research Centres > Centre for Health Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2010 please consult the authors.
Deposited On: 16 Dec 2010 04:28
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2011 15:02

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