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Author Topic: Level Crossing Stories  (Read 1805 times)
stuving
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« Reply #15 on: August 15, 2021, 10:32:17 am »

Re the Burneside incident, not trying to excuse the car driver at all, but ensuring there are adequate sight lines for both car drivers and train drivers (at this type of crossing) is essential.  So the height of the hedge on the train’s left and the car’s right should be maintained accordingly. 

Sight line issues are often mentioned in investigations into uncontrolled crossing incidents.


Sighting is essential where there are no traffic lights. Where there are, as here, vehicles are often required to stop and wait so far back that the drivers can't see (e.g. because of buildings).
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rogerw
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« Reply #16 on: August 15, 2021, 03:22:03 pm »

This was a controlled crossing with flashing "zig zag" red lights, which signify an absolute stop (even for emergency vehicles). The NR» (Network Rail - home page) report makes it clear that the car driver had driven past the red lights. Whether there was inter-visibility between the car and the train is immaterial. the only test is whether the car driver could see the lights
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broadgage
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« Reply #17 on: August 16, 2021, 04:59:42 am »

There seems to be view among some motorists that the red warning lights at level crossings are in some way "only advisory" and that ignoring them is either OK, or at least less serious than ignoring other traffic signals.

In my view there should be more prosecutions for level crossing misuse, and the penalties should be more severe.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
Gordon the Blue Engine
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« Reply #18 on: August 16, 2021, 08:57:55 am »

I was thinking more about minimising risk, not apportioning blame.  Of course the motorist should have obeyed the red lights, but seeing the train approaching might have helped avoid the incident (and the train driver may have had the chance to hoot – again?).  A building in the sight line can’t be moved, but a hedge can be cut down.  It’s all a question of doing whatever can be done AFAIRP to minimise risk.

On a slightly different tack, the motorist may well have been local, but I wonder whether non-locals from urban backgrounds are more used to level crossings where it’s light first, then barriers come down, then train (and look at the second bullet point at the bottom of the NR» (Network Rail - home page) press release).  Again, no excuse for the motorist, but an avoided incident is better than a real incident and a prosecution. 
« Last Edit: August 16, 2021, 09:04:12 am by Gordon the Blue Engine » Logged
broadgage
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« Reply #19 on: August 16, 2021, 11:36:57 am »

I disagree, in my view blame SHOULD be apportioned to the road vehicle driver, unless there is some extenuating circumstance.
Even partial reliance on sight lines is in my view most unwise for two reasons. Firstly a fast train could be out of sight initially but still come dangerously close as a vehicle crosses.
Secondly, a whole new can of worms is opened about sight lines and changes thereto.

IMHO (in my humble opinion), it should be a simple case of "were the red lights clearly visible and in working order" ? If yes then the blame should fall entirely upon the car driver. Penalty points on the driving licence would be reasonable. If this results in a driving ban, then a new driving test should be a requirement to drive after the expiration of the ban.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
Clan Line
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« Reply #20 on: August 16, 2021, 04:03:34 pm »

I disagree, in my view blame SHOULD be apportioned to the road vehicle driver,

I think you have to very careful saying something like that. Shall we say that, you personally, are well known for being a fan of rail transport against all others which MAY just have "flavoured" your response. The UK (United Kingdom) has a superb reputation when it comes to transport accident investigations air, maritime and rail. All these reports are completely impartial - blame is never apportioned in these reports. Their reports (especially aviation) often say that the actions of the pilot "caused" the incident - but they never "blame" the pilot. That is not their job. Once blame becomes the sole object people will clam up and the real reason may never be known. Just imagine the driver of a train being questioned after some incident or other............."no comment,...... no comment,........ no comment".......is that what you really want ?

It is possible that the driver's vision was obstructed by his interior sun visors, he may have had a medical incident, the sun shining at a particular angle on that particular model of car's windscreen may have distracted him...............he may have just made a "error of judgement" (like politicians always do !) .

It is very easy to cast blame. "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her" (John 8:7)
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broadgage
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« Reply #21 on: August 16, 2021, 07:36:01 pm »

I did state that blame should be apportioned to the road vehicle driver "unless there was some extenuating circumstance"
Sudden illness would be an extenuating circumstance, as might be unexpected* mechanical failure. Not sure about "view obstructed by sun visor" since that could be considered the drivers fault if they had so adjusted the sun visor such that observation of traffic signals was thereby obstructed.

What happens to a train driver who passes a signal at danger, without extenuating circumstances ?
And how does this compare with the treatment of a car driver who jumps a red traffic signal ?

Rail is far safer than road transport, The ONLY fatal rail accident for many years was at Stonehaven. The DAILY death toll on the roads far exceeds the ANUALL  toll in rail accidents.

*Mechanical failure is only in my view an extenuating circumstance if truly unforeseen, and not the result of poor maintenance.

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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
CyclingSid
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« Reply #22 on: August 23, 2021, 10:48:29 am »

There are also cyclists that don't help their own cause https://road.cc/content/news/cycling-live-blog-23-august-2021-285801
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #23 on: September 14, 2021, 11:54:37 am »

This level crossing incident is special due to the participants.
Quote
Network Rail signalman, 27, jailed for driving his Range Rover into an LNER» (London North Eastern Railway - about) Azuma (Brand name for Class 80x trains on LNER) train at a level crossing near Doncaster - then claiming it was stolen

Michael Rochford worked for Network Rail as a signalling technician before the incident at the Rossington level crossing on the East Coast Main Line near Doncaster on June 13.

CCTV (Closed Circuit Tele Vision) captured the moment his 4x4 collided with the LNER Azuma - which sustained damage while several passengers suffered whiplash injuries and a man in a nearby garden narrowly missed being struck by falling debris. Rochford fled the scene after the collision but was arrested three days later.
https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/crime/network-rail-signalman-27-jailed-for-driving-his-range-rover-into-an-lner-azuma-train-at-a-level-crossing-near-doncaster-then-claiming-it-was-stolen-3381110
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