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Level with me: Human factors in pedestrian and road-user violations at a notorious Victorian railway level crossing
journal contributionposted on 08.08.2018, 00:00 by Anjum Naweed, J Rose, GS Larue, C Wullems
There are 23 500 railway level crossings in Australia. In these risky environments, it is important to understand what human factors issues are present and how road users and pedestrians engage with crossings. In this study, on-site observations were performed over a 2-day period at a 3-track active railway level crossing with a history of reported issues. This was followed by 52 interviews with level crossing users. Over 700 separate violations were recorded, with representations in multiple categories (e.g. going through flashing lights >2s after starting flashing; stopping on crossing). Time stamping data revealed that the crossing was active for 59% of the time in morning periods with trains taking up to 4 min to arrive following first activation. Level crossing users experienced frustration due to delays caused by the frequency of trains, which was considered to increase the likelihood of risk taking. Analysis of interview data identified themes associated with congestion, safety, and violations. This work offers insight into context specific issues associated with active level crossing protection and provides some empirical context around the level crossing removal program currently underway in Victoria.