Welcome to our new web site dealing with our work on railway crossing safety and risk assessment.
The term "Railway Crossing" or "Level Crossing" ("Grade Crossing" in the US) generally refers to locations where roads and foot paths cross rail lines at the same level (or "at grade"), creating a risk of collision. So an overpass or subway crossing isn't a railway crossing even though it crosses the railway.
"Level Crossing" technically refers just to road crossings under some legislation, but the terms are often used interchangeably in Australia.
The public awareness of pedestrian crossing risk has often taken a back seat to road crossings, mainly due to the fact that fewer people tend to be injured in an individual pedestrian crossing crash and they are therefore less newsworthy. The annual number of pedestrian crossing deaths in many jurisdictions can, however, be as high or higher than road crossing deaths. The greatest potential for catastrophic crashes involving many people both on trains and in vehicles is of course still at road crossings.
ALCAM risk assessment models exist for both road and pedestrians, focusing on the different behaviors and errors made by users of these crossings and the different physics involved. A road vehicle approaches a crossing at speed and takes time to see the crossing and stop, for instance, whereas a pedestrian does not, so sighting distance considerations are more complex in the road model than the pedestrian.
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