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Definition of new human-centred low-cost countermeasures. Deliverable D2.3 of the SAFER-LC project

Dreßler, Annika and Silla, Anne and Kortsari, Annie and Havârneanu, Grigore and Whalley, Sarah and Lorenzo, Laura and Grippenkoven, Jan Daniel (2018) Definition of new human-centred low-cost countermeasures. Deliverable D2.3 of the SAFER-LC project. Project Report. D2.3, 92 S.

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Official URL: http://safer-lc.eu/IMG/pdf/saferlc_20181031_d23_v10web_dlr_definition_of_new_human-centred_low-cost_countermeasures.pdf


This deliverable describes the methods applied and the results achieved during the first phase of Task 2.3 within the SAFER-LC project: the design of new human-centred low-cost measures to improve safety at level crossings (LCs). The European project SAFER-LC – Safer level crossing by integrating and optimizing road-rail infrastructure management and design – aims to improve safety in road and rail transport by minimising the risk of LC accidents, focusing on both technical solutions and human processes. Within the project, the objective of Work Package 2 (WP2) is to enhance the safety performance of level crossing infrastructures from a human factors perspective, making them more self-explaining and forgiving. Task 2.3 specifically aims to design concepts of human-centred low-cost countermeasures to enhance the safety of current LC infrastructures and, in a later step, to evaluate these countermeasure designs from a human factors perspective. A two-stage process, consisting of a collection phase and a selection phase, was adopted to define the countermeasure concepts presented in this report. In the first phase, a large pool of design ideas was collected from three different sources: (1) a comprehensive review of the research literature, (2) an analysis and selection of theoretical models relevant to explaining and predicting road user behaviour at level crossings, and (3) a design workshop with road and rail experts. In the second phase, three steps were undertaken in order to systemize and prioritize the measures collected: (1) an elimination of measures based on redundancy, feasibility, and expert ratings of their effectiveness and cost, (2) a classification of the remaining measures with respect to their applicability to different LCs and road user types, and their effect mechanism, and (3) a ranking of the measures based on their prospects for accident risk reduction and the need for further research. The design process was based on operational descriptions of different types of road user behaviours observed at LCs that challenge safety and hence need to be defined as the target of safety measures. The presence or absence of active controls and barriers at LCs was identified as a particularly significant factor with regard to what types of behaviour need to be supported or prevented. Therefore, the design thinking process and organization of measures drew upon the basic distinction between passive and active LCs. Measures for passive LCs were mainly to address the problems of road users insufficiently scanning the tracks for trains, insufficiently adapting their approach speed to the need of scanning and the potential need to stop, and road users getting stuck on the rails. Measures for active LCs were mainly to prevent road users from circumventing closed barriers (climbing over / below; swerving around half-barriers), passing the LC in spite of active light signals (e.g. flashing red light), passing the LC after pre-signalling has begun or while barriers are closing, and, again, getting stuck on the rails. Apart from the differences, a range of common possibilities to support safe road user behaviour at both active and passive LCs was identified (e.g. by improving LC conspicuity, using common means of conveying behavioural recommendations adapted to the respective LC type, and helping road users not to enter the tracks when they cannot be sure to leave in good time). In all cases, design considerations included vulnerable (VRU) as well as motorized road users (MRU). The process resulted in a list of 89 design solutions that can be applied in LC design. The complete list is given in Annex A of this report. The ten measures achieving the best ranks in each of the aforementioned use cases were: Passive LCs: Active inverted speed bumps, laser illumination of the crossing, image process warning, blinking peripheral lights drawing driver attention, light markings in the road to highlight the waiting line, speed bumps on approach to the LC, on-road flashing markers, road swivelling, LC attention device, and coloured marking of the danger zone. LCs with barriers: Adapting the timing of LC closure to the actual speed of the passing train, camera based enforcement (prosecution of violations), additional display "Two Trains", second chance zone, sound warning indicating an approaching train, lane separation in front of half barriers, increasing the length of the barrier, audible signal while in the danger zone, information countdown to closing the barrier and complete open / close cycle. All types of LCs: Proximity message via connected device (in- vehicle display, satnav, mobile device), improving train visibility using lights, audible warnings about LC, extended "no stop" zone, message on smartphone / -watch to warn on approaching train (VRU), coloured pavement markings to mark the danger zone (MRU), satnav intelligence, countdown to train arrival, LED enhanced traffic signs and warning sign to avoid blocking back. The next steps within the SAFER-LC project will be to conduct empirical tests on selected measures to evaluate their effects on road user behaviour and LC safety, and to integrate the project’s practical results and recommendations in a toolbox to be accessed through a user-friendly interface to support rail and road stakeholders in improving safety at LCs.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/124246/
Document Type:Monograph (Project Report)
Title:Definition of new human-centred low-cost countermeasures. Deliverable D2.3 of the SAFER-LC project
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Dreßler, Annikaannika.dressler (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-7290-6133
Havârneanu, GrigoreUICUNSPECIFIED
Grippenkoven, Jan Danieljan.grippenkoven (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Date:31 October 2018
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Number of Pages:92
Keywords:level crossing, road users, safety, infrastructural measures, Bahnübergang, Sicherheit
Department:Institut für Verkehrssystemtechnik
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Transport
HGF - Program Themes:Terrestrial Vehicles (old)
DLR - Research area:Transport
DLR - Program:V BF - Bodengebundene Fahrzeuge
DLR - Research theme (Project):V - Fahrzeugintelligenz (old)
Location: Braunschweig
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Transportation Systems > Human Factors
Deposited By: Dreßler, Annika
Deposited On:11 Dec 2018 09:14
Last Modified:31 Jul 2019 20:21

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