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Signs of respect: Embodying the train driver–signal relationship to avoid rail disasters

journal contribution
posted on 28.08.2018, 00:00 by Sophia Rainbird, Anjum Naweed
Train driving is a complex and dangerous activity. If a signal is passed at danger (SPAD), a driver experiences one of the most safety critical failure modes of rail. Train drivers are not only significantly emotionally and professionally impacted by SPADs that they have experienced; they are also affected by their potential occurrence. Using a mobilities approach, we identify SPAD risk reduction strategies that train drivers generate during dynamic interactive encounters with signals, between human/machine, time/space, structured movement/unstructured movement. Drivers form an intimate relationship whereby the signal is viewed with both reverence and contempt. Drivers anthropomorphise the signal, and predict SPAD potentiality aimed at outwitting the signal. We suggest that this human–signal interface offers new perspectives of SPADs, revealing that a signal means more than stop–caution–go.

Funding

Category 1 - Australian Competitive Grants (this includes ARC, NHMRC)

History

Volume

2

Issue

1

Start Page

50

End Page

66

Number of Pages

17

eISSN

2380-0135

ISSN

2380-0127

Publisher

Routledge

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

No

Author Research Institute

Appleton Institute

Era Eligible

Yes

Journal

Applied Mobilities

Usage metrics

CQUniversity

Exports