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Aidan Nelson, Community Safety Partnerships: Rail level crossings: Is technology the answer?
 

Aidan Nelson, Community Safety Partnerships: Rail level crossings: Is technology the answer?

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Aidan Nelson, Director, Community Safety Partnerships Ltd, UK delivered this presentation at Rail Safety 2013. For more information on the annual conference, please visit ...

Aidan Nelson, Director, Community Safety Partnerships Ltd, UK delivered this presentation at Rail Safety 2013. For more information on the annual conference, please visit http://www.railsafetyconference.com.au.

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    Aidan Nelson, Community Safety Partnerships: Rail level crossings: Is technology the answer?    Aidan Nelson, Community Safety Partnerships: Rail level crossings: Is technology the answer? Presentation Transcript

    • Level crossings: Is technology the answer? Rail Safety 2013: Pre-conference workshop Aidan Nelson Melbourne, March 5th, 2013 1
    • Context  Nirvana of no level crossings is but a dream  The safest level crossing is always one that doesn’t exist  But don’t forget the risk of vehicle incursions from the residual road-rail interface  No new level crossings  Except where one can replace two or more  Reducing risk so far as is reasonably practicable to satisfy the law / regulator  To go further is a business decision  Taken in the context of other business priorities  Perhaps, to manage reputation  But, may also be a political decision: election promise syndrome
    • See problems in the round  Look at things from a new perspective
    • What are the options? Reactive ad-hoc responses Upgrade a single crossing post-accident Community / political pressure because of highway congestion at a single crossing Planned programmes Where risk is understood and prioritised Multi-crossing replacement / upgrade To address city-wide road traffic management requirements
    • Technology: simple solutions  Adding high performance retro-reflective material to signs can have an impact at many crossings
    • Why re-invent the wheel?  Don’t block “ripping-off” & “replicating” good ideas
    • Technology: complex solutions  Affordable at very few crossings
    • The middle-ground  Technology as a cost driver Alternative train detection methods Modular systems Highway and transit, not just railway solutions  Additional controls Passive > open active > active with barriers In pavement On the approach to a crossing  In combination The US “quiet zone” approach
    • In pavement solutions  Transit derived solutions  Transit is quicker to innovate  Diversity of approach: a strength, a weakness or both?
    • Avoid risk transfer  Rising steps and other rigid barrier solutions can be a very good way of “making pizza topping out of car drivers”
    • Changing road user behaviour  Technologies that influence road user behaviour are likely to offer the greatest benefit  Accidental misuse can be reduced by reducing likelihood of motorist / pedestrian error  Not just a level crossing issue, but a wider road safety issue  Therefore, need to work together  At least 20% of accidents have a significant in-car distraction component  Therefore, need to consider in-car systems to reduce distractions  Wilful misuse: catch and punish to deter
    • Changing institutional attitudes  Median strips rejected by highways authority because they didn’t have a standard!
    • Channelling traffic  What could be simpler?
    • Private level crossings  A generally neglected area  Just need to add co-acting gates to reduce user misuse?
    • Train horn noise  A real community issue  Ban train horn use except in emergency?  Or, use technology?  The wayside horn is an available option  But is transfer from another jurisdiction a barrier?  Cross-acceptance should be the usual approach
    • State-of-the-art photo-enforcement  Automatic number plate recognition  Real time police officer surveillance  Citations generated and issued on the day  Network Rail funded, British Transport Police developed solution
    • Technology in isolation = failure  An enabling framework is essential  Engineered solutions a pre-requisite  Targeted education, not a scattergun  Enforcement is not optional  Evaluation is too often neglected  Rail has to take the lead at level crossings  Standing still is not an option  Demonstrating value-for-money is key to future funding of engineering, education and enforcement programmes
    • Contact Aidan Nelson Email: aidannelson@comsafetypartmers.com Telephone: +44 1904 448439 Mobile: +44 7939 546980 is back again: www.lxinfo.org