Understanding pedestrian behaviour at railway level crossings : is there a need for more research?

Freeman, James E., Rakotonirainy, Andry, Stefanova, Teodora, & McMaster, Mitchell (2013) Understanding pedestrian behaviour at railway level crossings : is there a need for more research? Road and Transport Research Journal, 22(3), pp. 29-39.

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Collisions between trains and pedestrians are the most likely to result in severe injuries and fatalities when compared to other types of rail crossing accidents. Currently, there is a growing emphasis towards developing effective interventions designed to reduce the prevalence of train–pedestrian collisions. This paper reviews what is currently known regarding the personal and environmental factors that contribute to train–pedestrian collisions, particularly among high-risk groups.


Studies that reported on the prevalence and characteristics of pedestrian accidents at railway crossings up until June 2012 were searched in electronic databases.


Males, school children and older pedestrians (and those with disabilities) are disproportionately represented in fatality databases. However, a main theme to emerge is that little is known about the origins of train–pedestrian collisions (especially compared to train–vehicle collisions). In particular, whether collisions result from engaging in deliberate violations versus making decisional errors. This subsequently limits the corresponding development of effective and targeted interventions for high-risk groups as well as crossing locations. Finally, it remains unclear what combination of surveillance and deterrence-based and education-focused campaigns are required to produce lasting reductions in train–pedestrian fatality rates. This paper provides direction for future research into the personal and environmental origins of collisions as well as the development of interventions that aim to attract pedestrians’ attention and ensure crossing rules are respected.

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ID Code: 63688
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: railway crossing, pedestrian, high-risk
ISSN: 1037-5783
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 ARRB Group Ltd
Deposited On: 05 Nov 2013 01:03
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2013 10:00

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