Concern as to whether rail operators would be liable should an accident occur at a crossing with a LCLCWD?
where the use of a conventional high-integrity warning device would have most likely prevented the same accident
Concern as to whether adoption of LCLCWDs would be prohibited by Rail Safety Act?
If low-cost technology achieves risk to be eliminated or reduced so far as is reasonably practicable (SFAIRP), then it would be utilized consistently with the Rail Safety Act. (letter from Victorian transport safety regulator to Victorian Railway Crossing Safety Steering Committee)
In considering cost of eliminating or reducing risk SFAIRP, practitioners must demonstrate that the likelihood of the risk eventuating is remote or that the cost is grossly disproportionate to the safety benefit. (National guideline for the meaning of SFAIRP, NTC)
For risk assessment: gross disproportion < 0.1 benefit to cost ratio (BCR) for risks to general public on level crossings
Grade separation (elimination of risk) is grossly disproportionate to safety benefit for a low-exposure level crossing with passive controls
51% reduction of collisions from passive to flashing lights (estimates by Elvik, Høye, Vaa, & Sørensen, 2009)
Further 45% reduction with boom gates
Less effectiveness due to increased failure rate
There is a safety benefit when failed to safe (not prolonged / frequent)
Wrong-side failure reduces safety benefit
Increase of risk due to wrong-side failure estimated in terms of person equivalent fatalities (PEF)
Based on the assumption that a collision will occur when a vehicle and train are at the crossing in wrong-side failure
Monetary value of mitigated loss
Value of Preventing a Fatality (VPF) $6,287,873 (2010 $) (RISSB) (Tooth & Balmford, 2010)
Costs per crossing accident
Preliminary risk assessment (3) Estimated costs per crossing accident ( Tooth and Balmford 2010 ) Costs and benefits of population treatment of level crossings with passive control over 25 years – Queensland Gross disproportion
Costs include installation + ongoing maintenance Upgrade budget $10M/year
Negative safety benefit *Note that in order for option 1b to be accepted, the cost of both option 1c and option 2 would have to be demonstrated to be grossly disproportionate to the safety benefit.