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Author Topic: Bossing The Crossing  (Read 437 times)
Surrey 455
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« on: June 18, 2018, 12:25:22 am »

Network rail are running a pedestrian safety campaign at level crossings at https://www.networkrail.co.uk/communities/safety-in-the-community/safety-campaigns/

As part of the campaign they've released a video showing impatient / idiot pedestrians at Poole High Street level crossing.



Quote

Deliberate misuse of level crossings can kill. Eighty six incidents were recorded in Dorset last year - 36% on Poole High Street level crossing.

The number of pedestrian level crossing incidents is at an all time high and it is our duty to reduce these numbers and preserve the safety of workers, the public, passengers and lineside neighbours.

Find out more here - networkrail.co.uk/pedestrians

« Last Edit: June 18, 2018, 12:41:17 am by Surrey 455 » Logged
grahame
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« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2018, 05:08:39 am »

Network rail are running a pedestrian safety campaign at level crossings at https://www.networkrail.co.uk/communities/safety-in-the-community/safety-campaigns/

As part of the campaign they've released a video showing impatient / idiot pedestrians at Poole High Street level crossing.
Quote

Deliberate misuse of level crossings can kill. Eighty six incidents were recorded in Dorset last year - 36% on Poole High Street level crossing.

The number of pedestrian level crossing incidents is at an all time high and it is our duty to reduce these numbers and preserve the safety of workers, the public, passengers and lineside neighbours.

Find out more here - networkrail.co.uk/pedestrians


Some very silly things at Poole there - and of course it is 110% right for Network Rail to highlight the problems at that crossing with a view to getting people to behave more safely. A number of things strike me though:

a) The majority of the videos bolted together show cyclists rather than people on foot being the biggest idiots / most dangerous in their actions even though a very very small proportion of the users shown in general are cyclists

b) One video appears to show that there's a problem with pedestrian numbers being so high that they can't all get off the crossing in time - not enough space for them on the roadway / walkway outside the barriers, with (perhaps) them being held on the crossing by a significant numb of people who have correct stopped to wait as the lights have flashed and the sirens sounded

c) May I suggest that Poole High Street crossing is one of a handful across the whole of the UK which has pedestrian numbers that are as high as this and it changes the metrics of the whole thing.   It is of dubious scientific correctness to highlight problems here and draw conclusions for almost any other crossing (Lincoln and Paignton maybe?) though it does make a good promotion and marketing point to be careful on ANY crossing.

d) Don't I recall that the arrangement here was changed only a few years back, with Network Rail reducing the operational staff at the crossing to zero in the process.  If the resulting system that they have come up with has its problems, they really need to look at their own system and ask "have we got it right?" alongside ensuring that cyclists and pedestrians are as educated as possible

e) Educating people as a marketing operation well ahead of time can only be part of the answer.  Is there is a need for flagging things up "even better" at the crossing too.  I would imagine that our cyclists in the videos are all going to have been locals and regular users, but I would also imagine that this crossing has a far higher proportion of very occasional users and indeed tourists for whom it has to be naturally safe at first encounter.  Perhaps Network Rail actually have it right for such people, or perhaps the small video selection just didn't happen to include any obvious tourist types.
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bignosemac
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« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2018, 07:05:51 am »

A BTP blitz issuing fixed penalties would be a good place to start.
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« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2018, 07:22:46 am »

There’s no excuse at Poole as there is a footbridge right next to the crossing if you can’t wait.
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bignosemac
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« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2018, 07:45:50 am »

Doesn't provide an alternative for those on bikes*, with pushchairs, or for the infirm/disabled. Like the regular pedestrians all those are just as able to ignore the Highway Code.


What is also interesting about the footbridge is, once the red lights are showing everyone who chooses to use it is technically breaking the law. Can anyone guess why?



* They could carry their bikes over the footbridge, but won't be thanked by pedestrians users of said bridge.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2018, 07:52:47 am by bignosemac » Logged

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SandTEngineer
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« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2018, 08:22:24 am »

Grahame wrote above:
Quote
May I suggest that Poole High Street crossing is one of a handful across the whole of the UK which has pedestrian numbers that are as high as this and it changes the metrics of the whole thing.   It is of dubious scientific correctness to highlight problems here and draw conclusions for almost any other crossing (Lincoln and Paignton maybe?) though it does make a good promotion and marketing point to be careful on ANY crossing.

Having had some involvement in the past with this level crossing, I can reassure you that it has the highest pedestrian count of any LC in the UK.  When the line was resignalled a couple of years ago we looked at closing the crossing and replacing it with a ramped footbridge.  Ruled out on cost and the adjacent shop owners objecting to loosing out on customers passing their shops.....

The other thing I raised at the time was that the crossing users are 99% pedestrian, so are conventional flashing road lights the correct solution for pedestrians who probably don't have a clue what they mean and generally can't see them close up anyway?

I could go on..... Roll Eyes

Personally, I think its a big education issue, but how do you teach people that may only come across the crossing closing sequence perhaps once a year, if that?

We had a previous discussion on all of this here: http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=16533.msg187949#msg187949
« Last Edit: June 18, 2018, 08:34:41 am by SandTEngineer » Logged

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Bob_Blakey
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« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2018, 08:37:46 am »

Surely if the Red Cow Level Crossing immediately north of EXD justifies an essentially full-time attendant then Poole High Street most certainly does.
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bignosemac
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« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2018, 09:34:03 am »

so are conventional flashing road lights the correct solution for pedestrians who probably don't have a clue what they mean and generally can't see them close up anyway?

The road lights are supplemented by flashing 'red man' lights at a more pedestrian friendly height. Not forgetting the audible warning. Six flashing red lights each side and a klaxxon should be enough.

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« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2018, 11:06:03 am »

I've been thinking about why most of the risk takers in that video are on bikes and I reckon there are two reasons: people on bikes move faster than people on foot so they probably reckon they can get across in less than the time allowed; and although it's difficult to tell from that video, probably most of them are young, and young people generally (especially young men and it did look as if most of them were male) tend to be most risk-happy than old people.
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« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2018, 11:11:34 am »

I see they've also got an ad aimed specifically at cyclists – with some cringe-making acting!
<iframe allowtransparency="true" title="Wistia video player" allowFullscreen frameborder="0" scrolling="no" class="wistia_embed" name="wistia_embed" src="https://fast.wistia.net/embed/iframe/cthbmy6p7g" width="400" height="225"></iframe>
(Not sure if that link will work but it's the second of "Our campaign adverts" on the webpage: https://www.networkrail.co.uk/communities/safety-in-the-community/safety-campaigns/)

But who's going to see these adverts? Where are they being shown? Are they on TV etc? It's not really much use if they're only on the Network Rail website.
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« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2018, 12:10:18 pm »

I see they've also got an ad aimed specifically at cyclists – with some cringe-making acting!

This ad is pi radians wide of the mark - it's not about cyclists per say, but about anyone who would move a piece of machinery into the middle of a level crossing to do a bit of light maintenance in the full knowledge that a train was audibly imminent.

As to the suggestion that crossing 'abusers' are 'idiots' or 'impatient' - well, that's a view, but perhaps not a very helpful one. As a rule, if large numbers of people regularly abuse a system, you have to ask whether it is the people at fault or the system.
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SandTEngineer
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« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2018, 05:09:32 pm »

Remember this from the original topic:

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SandTEngineer
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« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2018, 05:11:26 pm »

As to the suggestion that crossing 'abusers' are 'idiots' or 'impatient' - well, that's a view, but perhaps not a very helpful one. As a rule, if large numbers of people regularly abuse a system, you have to ask whether it is the people at fault or the system.

Well said. One of the first rules in railway incident investigation is "NEVER ASSUME ANYTHING".
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« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2018, 09:13:51 am »

I see they've also got an ad aimed specifically at cyclists – with some cringe-making acting!

This ad is pi radians wide of the mark - it's not about cyclists per say, but about anyone who would move a piece of machinery into the middle of a level crossing to do a bit of light maintenance in the full knowledge that a train was audibly imminent.
Is there any evidence that people are doing this? It must happen occasionally that a cyclist's chain comes off or they get a puncture, or (more commonly – or rather, less infrequently – given overall numbers) a car or lorry breaks down on a level crossing. But I can't think of any level crossing incidents recently that haven't involved someone either deliberately bypassing the barriers or not understanding how they work (as in a farm crossing a year or two ago, in Kent I think, which had some confusing red and green light system that did not actually refer to being allowed to cross – there's a thread on here somewhere).
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« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2018, 10:00:21 am »

I see they've also got an ad aimed specifically at cyclists – with some cringe-making acting!

This ad is pi radians wide of the mark - it's not about cyclists per say, but about anyone who would move a piece of machinery into the middle of a level crossing to do a bit of light maintenance in the full knowledge that a train was audibly imminent.
Is there any evidence that people are doing this? It must happen occasionally that a cyclist's chain comes off or they get a puncture, or (more commonly – or rather, less infrequently – given overall numbers) a car or lorry breaks down on a level crossing. But I can't think of any level crossing incidents recently that haven't involved someone either deliberately bypassing the barriers or not understanding how they work (as in a farm crossing a year or two ago, in Kent I think, which had some confusing red and green light system that did not actually refer to being allowed to cross – there's a thread on here somewhere).

There's something wrong with the return spring on the rear derailleur of my mountain bike at the moment, but as there are no level crossings near where I live I shall just have to repair it in the shed. Tsk.
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