ARSRPE Conference Paper Database

Motorist behaviour at railway level crossings: An exploratory study of train driver experience

Davey, Dr. Jeremy, Ibrahim, Nadja, Wallace, Angela (Peer reviewed)

Driver Psychology / Human Factors


Railway level crossings are the interface between roads and train lines, and as such are the potential site for vehicle-train collisions and incidents.  Of all road crash types, those between motor vehicles and trains are amongst the most severe. However, research into motorist safety at level crossings is currently very limited in Australia, despite 74 fatalities due to collisions between trains and motor vehicles at level crossings from 1997 to 2002. In Queensland, there were 230 reported crashes from 1997 to 2001. Train Drivers are first-hand witnesses to numerous incidents that occur between road users and trains at railway level crossings. This exploratory study utilised focus group discussions to investigate Train Driver experience of motorist behaviour at railway level crossings. Observed motorist behaviour, ?near misses?, ?incidents? and reporting issues were investigated. Analysis of focus group data was used to assist in the identification of high risk road user groups specific to the issue of railway level crossing safety, and associated high risk driving behaviours.