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Presentation on theme: " Innovative and Cooperative Approach to Improve Safety at Rail Level Crossings in Australia Phil Sochon Deputy CEO Australasian Railway Association."— Presentation transcript:

1 Innovative and Cooperative Approach to Improve Safety at Rail Level Crossings in Australia Phil Sochon Deputy CEO Australasian Railway Association International Rail Safety Conference GOA October 2007

2 Presentation Outline Road user causal factors The behavioural challenge - New national approach? Road user behavioural survey Education and enforcement pilot Future national LX management Learnings

3 Lismore

4 Impact Most serious safety concern faced by the Australian rail system Approx.100 collisions (trains VS vehicles) Emerging trend involving heavy vehicles –17 months, 12 Collisions, 17 fatalities – more than $100 million in damages

5 Collisions Profile Ref: 'Level Crossing Accident Fatalities', Australian Transport Safety Bureau, 2002

6 Situations Ref: 'Prospects for Improving the Conspicuity of Trains at Passive Railway Crossings', Draft Report RC 2748 1, ARRB, September 2002. Note – some crash data unknown

7 Causal Factors Ref: 'Level Crossing Accidents', Monograph 10, ATSB, 2002 Causal FactorsFatal level crossing crashes Other fatal road crashes Adverse weather or road conditions 13%9% Alcohol/drugs9%31% Fatigue3%8% Driver error (unintended) 46%22% Excessive speed7%23% Other risk taking3%5%

8 Road User Error & Violation The Behavioural Challenge –Low level of jurisdiction activities to address road user behaviour –Lack of national coordinated programs

9 Ban Ban Springs

10 Kerang

11 Rail Network in Australia

12 Lack of National Coordinated Road Safety Programs Low priority for road agencies Data –Pedestrian fatalities – rail toll –Vehicles fatalities – road toll Ambiguity in the responsibilities of stakeholders at level crossings. Rail industry tried to control non-rail entities (vehicles and pedestrians), over which it has no jurisdiction or funding.

13 Australian Railway Crossing Strategy Implementation Group (ARCSIG) National Railway Level Crossing Safety Strategy formed in response to major level crossing crashes in 2003. ARCSIG formed to oversee activities under the Strategy. –dual-modal (road and rail) membership. ARCSIG identified the need for awareness and education programs as part of a large program. ARA agreed to lead development of education and awareness –Initially focused on the Operation Lifesaver –Initial approach to State Government Transport Ministers was unsuccessful in gaining support. –New approach was adopted.

14 New Approach Address Road User Behaviour National level Rail lead / coordinate Engage road authorities in all jurisdictions Proposal to ATC, approved for 2 years (asked for 5 years)

15 Need for National Behavioural Strategy Benefits of national behavioural programs –improve safety at all railway level crossings –value for money (pooling resources) –economy of scale –greater impact of the messages –programs based on better research, will be better targeted, resulting in the most cost effective outcomes.

16 Behavioural Coordination Group (BCG) Governance BCG Senior Road Safety Managers Rail Industry via ARA National Transport Commission Australasian Traffic Police Forum

17 Key deliverables National Survey Education & Enforcement Pilot National Workshop Inventory Webpage Benchmarking community attitudes/behaviour at level crossings – November 07 Establish ground rules to aid development & implementation of education & enforcement Information exchange, February 08 Existing behavioural programs in Australia and overseas, update annually One stop shop, available October 07 Behavioural Programs State mass media and community education programs

18 National Road User Survey Objective –Identify awareness and attitudes of road users towards level crossings. Phases –Qualitative – 3 focus groups, 25 telephone & Face to Face Interviews (1 hour) –Quantitative – 4,400 telephone interviews, –Urban, Urban fringe, Rural/Regional, Remote –All jurisdictions Special groups –High risk groups i.e. young drivers, heavy vehicle drivers –Disabilities

19 National Survey Quantitative Questions: What factors come to mind which may contribute to unsafe conditions or crashes at RLCs? How long is a reasonable time to wait at an RLC? Have you ever crossed a RLC and not been aware of it until afterwards? How likely are you to be penalised for rule-breaking behaviour at an RLC as compared to speeding? Can you tell me if there is a difference in what you do when approaching the two types of crossings?

20 Education & Enforcement Pilot Objective –to develop guidelines for effective, practical and sustainable enforcement and community education programs at level crossings, for use across all jurisdictions. Key stakeholders –governments –railway companies –transport safety organisations –police –community road safety councils.

21 Victoria –Sites: 4 trial sites + 4 controlled sites in metro, regional, rural –Measurements of traffic behaviour pre-trial post-trial –Trial education enforcement –Evaluation & Analysis –Report / guidelines –Roll out to other jurisdictions Northern Territory – report company based initiative Education & Enforcement Pilot

22 Way Forward ARCSIG good initial governance model, but no senior government support, no funding to execute significant level crossing programs low level representation of road management agencies BCG governance more responsive and effective at a national level but lacks long term focus, coverage of all related level crossing aspects ARA proposes the establishment of a new management group, Australian Level Crossing Action Group (ALCAG)

23 Australian Level Crossing Action Group ATC SCOT Road GroupRail Group ALCAG (ARCSIG) Chair: Rail Gp (co chair Road Gp) National LX Safety Strategy (5 yrs) $400 K + Executive Director + Project Manager BCG Projects Research Tasking ITSData Info & Resources Infrastructure Standards Enforcement ALCAM Evaluation

24 Learning: Strategic Alliances and Partnership Vital Partnership approach between Industry, Government, road, rail & the police –Note: Canadas Direction 2006 model. Benefits: –Stakeholders managing those aspects best suited to their competencies –Expertise of each stakeholder can be drawn upon as necessary, allowing the development and delivery of better programs.

25 Learning: Use Existing Road Safety Mechanisms Benefits: –The messages are delivered to local communities through Community Road Safety Councils –Less resource intensive –More cost effective –Local communities are well informed –A sense of community responsibility for safer road user behaviour is created –Highly practical and sustainable

26 Share National Level Crossing Behavioural Strategy and findings of survey and targeted education and enforcement program What can we do for you?

27 Potential for Catastrophe

28 Thank you Phil Sochon Deputy CEO & Manager Government Relations Australasian Railway Association Tel: + 61 2 6270 4503 Email: Web:

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