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Towards affordable safer level crossings : analysis of self reported driver behaviour at passive level crossings
As systems for active level crossing protection are expensive there is a need to explore affordable technologies which will provide improved protection for road users at level crossings with passiveprotection systems. This investigation is part of a project on Affordable Level Crossing Protections funded by Australia’s Cooperative Research Centre for Rail Innovation under its Engineering and Safety Program. The literature showed it was clear that there is a need to determine user responses to railway level crossings so that human factors requirements could be determined. The Population Research Laboratory at Central Queensland University conducted the Queensland Social Survey in mid-2009. It determined, amongst other things, the self-reported reactions of road users when they negotiaterailway level crossings. Some interesting patterns were revealed. The outcomes provide further illumination of how road users respond to a range of situations as they approach a railway level crossing.Consistently high proportions of respondents said they never do things which are illegal, risky or dangerous at level crossings.The paper presents analysis and discussion of the road user responses with consideration of a number of contributing factors, including crossing design, user perception of warning signage, user attitudes to compliance with road rules, and the environmental context.