Rail cross­ings ‘un­safe for trucks’: re­port

Owner Driver - - News -

THE LACK of re­cent level-cross­ing dis­as­ters in­volv­ing trucks ap­pears more to do with luck than good man­age­ment, an Aus­troads re­port in­di­cates.

Aus­troads, the peak or­gan­i­sa­tion of Aus­tralasian road trans­port and traf­fic agen­cies, has re­leased its Im­proved Rail­way Road De­sign for Heavy Ve­hi­cles re­port. The re­port iden­ti­fies im­prove­ments to bet­ter cater for the safe pas­sage of heavy ve­hi­cles through rail­way level cross­ings at a time when the road freight task con­tin­ues to grow quickly.

Its anal­y­sis of heavy ve­hi­cle crashes at rail­way level cross­ings across Aus­tralia and New Zealand found that: • Many lo­ca­tions did not have warn­ing signs in­stalled to the stan­dards at the time of the crash • Sight dis­tances for ap­proach­ing ve­hi­cle driv­ers were ob­structed by de­vel­op­ment on abut­ting prop­er­ties or veg­e­ta­tion • De­lin­eation was poorly main­tained.

The crash anal­y­sis in­di­cates that crashes were al­most evenly dis­trib­uted be­tween pas­sive and ac­tive con­trols, most oc­curred in the morn­ing, and a sig­nif­i­cant pro­por­tion oc­curred dur­ing day­light hours and on dry roads.

Straight road sec­tions saw 79 per cent of crashes with 14 per cent where there was an easy curve and 7 per cent at mod­er­ate curves. While there was a grad­ual re­duc­tion in heavy ve­hi­cles level cross­ing crashes in­volv­ing in Aus­tralia, the fa­tal­ity rate re­mained un­changed.

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