Somewhere between haste and delay... Investigating the interactions of road users and pedestrians in a dynamic rail level crossing environment

Naweed, Anjum & Larue, Gregoire S. (2015) Somewhere between haste and delay... Investigating the interactions of road users and pedestrians in a dynamic rail level crossing environment. In 19th Triennial Congress of the International Ergonomics Association, 9-14 August 2015, Melbourne, Victoria.

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Abstract

There are currently 23,500 level crossings in Australia, broadly divided into one of two categories: active level crossings which are fully automatic and have boom barriers, alarm bells, flashing lights, and pedestrian gates; and passive level crossings, which are not automatic and aim to control road and pedestrianised walkways solely with stop and give way signs. Active level crossings are considered to be the gold standard for transport ergonomics when grade separation (i.e. constructing an over- or underpass) is not viable. In Australia, the current strategy is to annually upgrade passive level crossings with active controls but active crossings are also associated with traffic congestion, largely as a result of extended closure times. The percentage of time level crossings are closed to road vehicles during peak periods increases with the rise in the frequency of train services. The popular perception appears to be that once a level crossing is upgraded, one is free to wipe their hands and consider the job done. However, there may also be environments where active protection is not enough, but where the setting may not justify the capital costs of grade separation. Indeed, the associated congestion and traffic delay could compromise safety by contributing to the risk taking behaviour by motorists and pedestrians. In these environments it is important to understand what human factor issues are present and ask the question of whether a one size fits all solution is indeed the most ergonomically sound solution for today’s transport needs.

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ID Code: 86967
Item Type: Conference Item (Other)
Refereed: No
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
Copyright Owner: International Ergonomics Association
Deposited On: 31 Aug 2015 22:22
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2015 22:22

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