of 44/44
1 TCA5-CT-2006-031487 SELCAT Safer European Level Crossing Appraisal and Technology Instrument: Coordination Action Thematic Priority: Sustainable Surface Transport D9 - Dissemination Campaign for Car Drivers Due date of deliverable: June 2008 Actual submission date: September 2008 Start date of project: 01.09.2006 Duration: 22 Months Organisation name of lead contractor for this deliverable: The German automobile club (ADAC) Revision 5 Project co-funded by the European Commission within the Sixth Framework Programme (2002-2006) Dissemination Level PU Public (x) PP Restricted to other programme participants (including the Commission Services) RE Restricted to a group specified by the consortium (including the Commission Services) CO Confidential, only for members of the consortium (including the Commission Services)

SELCAT - Europa

  • View
    0

  • Download
    0

Embed Size (px)

Text of SELCAT - Europa

SELCAT-D9-Campaign-Final_1Instrument: Coordination Action
D9 - Dissemination Campaign for Car Drivers
Due date of deliverable: June 2008 Actual submission date: September 2008
Start date of project: 01.09.2006 Duration: 22 Months Organisation name of lead contractor for this deliverable:
The German automobile club (ADAC) Revision 5
Project co-funded by the European Commission within the Sixth Framework Programme (2002-2006)
Dissemination Level PU Public (x) PP Restricted to other programme participants (including the Commission Services) RE Restricted to a group specified by the consortium (including the Commission Services) CO Confidential, only for members of the consortium (including the Commission Services)
2
Authors: H. Manz (ADAC) Reviewed by: R. Slovak (TUBS) Document.ID: SELCAT-WP4
Date: September 16, 2008
Confidentiality: Restricted WP allocation: WP4
Distribution: SELCAT Partners
Document Abstract: The deliverable reports on WP4activities related to the Campaign for Road Vehicle Drivers. The Annexes contain published articles and the flyer which is in preparation for publication
History Authors Date
First Comments (V1) R. Slovak (TUBS) July 22, 2008
Incorporation of Comments (V2) H. Manz (ADAC) July 24, 2008
Review L. Tordai (UIC) Sept. 1, 2008
Review R. Slovak (TUBS) Sept. 2, 2008
Review (Flyer) M. Woods (RSSB) Sept. 7, 2008
Incorporation of Comments (V3) H. Manz (ADAC) Sept. 12, 2008
Review R. Slovak (TUBS) Sept. 15, 2008
Review E. Schnieder (TUBS) Sept. 16, 2008
Project Sponsor: This report reflects work which is funded
by the European Commission under the
competitive and sustainable growth
programme of DG Research.
List of Acronyms................................................................................................... 6 Executive Summary ............................................................................................. 7 Motivation for this work......................................................................................... 9
1.1 Current situation in Europe ...................................................................... 9 1.2 Involvement of the road sector ................................................................ 9
Methodology....................................................................................................... 10 1.3 Level crossing safety related articles ..................................................... 10 1.4 Leaflet on road side legislative............................................................... 10
Overview of Level crossing Road Traffic Regulations in Europe........................ 12 1.5 Level Crossings equipment ................................................................... 12 1.6 Level Crossing Signage in Europe......................................................... 13
1.6.1 Signage with St Andrew Crosses .................................................. 13 1.6.2 Signage with warning lights........................................................... 15
1.6.3 Regulations relevant for car drivers............................................... 17 1.6.4 Publication of the leaflet ................................................................ 21
Conclusions and recommendations ................................................................... 23 Annex 1 Example for poorly equipped level crossings ....................................... 25
Annex 2 With or without barriers – rail traffic always has the right of way .......... 26 Annex 3 Level crossing statistics........................................................................ 27
Annex 4 Lack of attention and lack of knowledge, mistakes and major offences28 Annex 5 A level crossing is a shared responsibility ............................................ 30 Annex 6 Accident figures continue to fall............................................................ 31
Annex 7 Much needs to be done – from on-site inspections to European harmonisation..................................................................................................... 32 Annex 8 Leaflet proposal by ADAC and its SELCAT partners ........................... 35
4
List of Acronyms
DB Deutsche Bahn AG, Germany Eg Example given ERA European Railway Agency
Etc. et cetera
ETCS European Train Control System
EU European Union FP Framework Program IN-SAFETY Infrastructure and Safety LC Level crossing SELCAT Safer European Level Crossing Appraisal and Technology SIL Safety Integrity Level UIC Union Internationale des Chemins de Fer, France UK United Kingdom USA United State of America WP Work Package
5
Executive Summary
Even though level crossings are a road-rail interface, more than 90 per cent of all accidents occurring at level crossings each year are caused by road users. Therefore, informing road vehicle drivers of the existing national Highway Code regulations for level crossings as well as educating them how to behave at a level crossing has been set as one of the main tasks of the overall SELCAT (Safer European Level Crossing Appraisal and Technology) project dissemination activities. The concrete decision for starting a Europe-wide road vehicle drivers’ information campaign has the dual purpose of disseminating the SELCAT research results as well as of increasing car drivers’ awareness of the level crossing risk. As a representative of the road sector and in its capacity of a SELCAT consortium member the General German Automobile Club (ADAC) has taken the lead in the preparation of an information leaflet aimed at informing the European road users of the risk at level crossings.
Following the objectives of the SELCAT project the aim of this deliverable is to inform the public road sector on the results of the SELCAT project. The SELCAT consortium members believe that these results can be of interest to the road sector decision makers and could provide a fruitful basis for cooperation between the road and rail sectors with regards to their mutual challenge – level crossings.
The current document provides an overview of the dissemination work accomplished by ADAC and its SELCAT partners. It is organized into conceptual units focusing on the following issues:
• Overview of the current situation at Level Crossings in Europe
• Evaluation of national regulations conformity with incumbent international legislation(Vienna Convention)
• Presentation of differing designs of the St Andrew’s Cross Sign in a number of European countries
• Presentation of different warning lights’ system in a number of European countries
• Presentation of the level crossing legislation applicable to Level Crossings with barriers, Level Crossings with Warning Lights and Passive Level Crossings in several European countries.
• Presentation of the recommendations resulting from the research undertaken by ADAC and its SELCAT partners
The results of the SELCAT project research have been presented in a leaflet aimed at informing road vehicle drivers of the differing Level Crossings’ signs and regulations in the different European countries.
To better achieve its goal of providing helpful safety hints to road vehicle drivers SELCAT sought to provide information on level crossing regulations and signage for
6
as many countries as possible. For the purpose the SELCAT partners were invited to upload their national data to the designed for the purpose SELCAT web portal. Additionally, the consortia contacts with other organization such as the European Level Crossing Research Forum (ELCRF) were used for obtaining information on European countries not represented in SELCAT. Thanks to this approach level crossing data from Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Austria could also be obtained.
7
1.1 Current situation in Europe
Every year, more than 400 people are killed in more than 1200 accidents at road-rail intersections in the European Union. Level crossings (together with tunnels and specific road black spots) have been identified as being particular weak points on road networks, seriously affecting public safety. For railways, level crossings represent as much as 30% of all fatalities.
Up to now, the only effective solution to this problem appears to involve upgrading level crossing safety systems even though in more than 90% of the cases the primary accident cause is inadequate or improper human behaviour rather than any technical, rail-based issue. High safety requirements for level crossing systems required in the European railway sector create a high cost barrier to the technological upgrades of existing systems.
1.2 Involvement of the road sector
The fact that level crossings are directly involved in only a very small proportion of road accidents explains to a certain degree the limited involvement and commitment of the road sector in developing solutions to the problem. This is also one reason why the European Commission has decided to fund the SELCAT Project (Safer European Level Crossing Appraisal and Technology).. It is expected that that the SELCAT project, with its membership of nine European countries, will help improve the level of engagement of road traffic engineers and policy makers throughout Europe and will, thus encourage them to work for the identification of better and smarter solutions as well as for finding the necessary investment models for facilitating their implementation.
ADAC has played an important role in SELCAT with its commitment to improving safety on road-rail crossings. As a road side representative ADAC acknowledges that human factors, in particular road vehicle drivers, are most often the cause for level crossing accidents. That is why ADAC firmly supports the project as well as the production of a leaflet informing road users about the different conditions and regulations at level crossings in Europe
8
Methodology
On one hand level crossings have to be operated in accordance with the current legislation. On the other hand, however, the appropriate behaviour of car drivers is indispensable for ensuring safety at level crossings. Therefore, to reach car drivers effectively all available means of information have to be used.
To achieve this aim the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) in the USA has set up in the year 2002 a five-year strategic plan for improving the effectiveness of warning devices as well as driver’s compliance with level crossing warnings. The American campaign has shown that the technical equipment of level crossings is not enough for ensuring the safety of the road and rail users. The warnings have to be also respected by car drivers.
The same approach has been applied by the US “Operation Lifesaver campaign as well as by the German campaign - “Geblickt – Sicher Drüber” (Look – Cross Safely). The main objective of such national campaigns is to make people aware of the risk at level crossings. They emphasize the fact that careless attitude at level crossings is risky and brings the own life and the life of others in danger.
Following those ideas the authors found out that informing road vehicle drivers is crucial for ensuring safety at level crossings. Therefore the work in this direction has to be continued. A study from 2002 found out that car drivers are often ill informed about regulations at level crossings. For example 57 per cent of the German car drivers think that only a red continuous light means “stop”. They do not consider a flashing red light as sign for stopping in front of a level crossing, what can be a heavy cause of accidents. Therefore it is highly necessary to inform car drivers about the Highway Code rules that have to be obeyed at level crossings.
Considering the limitations of the SELCAT budget the following ways of informing road vehicle drivers have been chosen:
• Dissemination of level crossing safety related articles via internet and automobile club members
• Preparation of a leaflet for informing road vehicle drivers about the relevant Highway code rules for level crossings in the different European countries
1.3 Level crossing safety related articles
ADAC has published on its homepage information on why level crossing rules have to be followed by road users. For further details, please consult:
(www.adac.de/Verkehr/sicher_unterwegs/sicherheit_bahnuebergaengen). The safety related articles have been translated also into English and have been circulated to partner Automobile clubs, mainly in Europe. The texts can be found in Annex 1 to 7.
1.4 Leaflet on road side legislative
To achieve its main goal the information collected in the framework of the SELCAT project needs to reach the road vehicle driver. Therefore the drafting and distribution of a leaflet has been considered as the best way of disseminating safety-related information. The leaflet has to give information, furthermore, on how the driver should
9
behave at level crossings. An important finding of the SELCAT project is that the signage as well as the high code rules for level crossings differs significantly throughout Europe. The road vehicle driver, therefore, has to be well informed about these differences when crossing borders. The differences in the European national Highway Code rules are presented in the next chapter. The full text of the leaflet is included in Annex 8.
10
Overview of Level crossing Road Traffic Regulations in Europe
Level Crossings are a road-rail interface. Therefore safety at level crossings has to be the joint responsibility of road and rail authorities. Trains always have right of way at level crossings. This right is indicated by traffic lights or signs, such as the St Andrews Cross. The St Andrews Cross sign is different in nearly every country even though the 1968 Vienna Convention on roads signs and signals, to which most of the European countries are signatories, harmonizes road signs. Although the Convention has been in force for forty years it has not been universally implemented.
SELCAT recommends the harmonization of Level Crossing legislation throughout Europe including a revision of the Vienna Convention. This is a long term approach which needs to be initiated together with the national governments and the relevant international bodies. In the short term, however, road vehicle drivers, especially those crossing borders, have to be adequately informed about the different level crossings legislations in the other European countries.
1.5 Level Crossings equipment
Road vehicle drivers across Europe are advised in different ways of an approaching train at Level Crossings. The type of protection depends mainly on the volume of trains and cars crossing the rail-road interface as well as the speed of the train. Another approach is to make the speed of cars and trains at level crossings dependent on the technical protection of the level crossing. The conditions for each type are different depending on the country and its legislation.
The SELCAT deliverable D1 (Report about Statistics, Database Analysis and Regulations for Level Crossings) [1] introduces the European Railway Agency’s (ERA) classification for level crossings [2] This classification, however, is not useful for education and information purposes (such as the ADAC leaflet) as it is not easy to understand by people having no technical background of level crossings. Therefore, in the leaflet some classification categories have been merged. The equipment of level crossings aimed at warning and protecting road vehicle drivers can be categorized as follows:
• St Andrews Cross, (without any technical equipment) or
• Visual warnings given by traffic lights or
• Protection given by full or half barriers
These three kinds of warning can be substituted by a warning by a railway employee or a police officer. For the purpose of the leaflet level crossings protected by a flagman are excluded because of their insignificant number.
The type of warning differs from country to country and is dependent on the traffic conditions of the railway or road networks. The different national highway codes containe different rules. With the progressive opening of borders between European countries in level crossing accident danger risk has increased because of the lack of consistent information available to road users.
In most European countries no level crossings are allowed at road-rail intersections with a train speed of more than 160 kph. If the railway company wants to operate their trains on the particular railway line with more than 160 kph, the road has to cross the railway with a bridge or underbridge.
11
According to the chosen level crossing equipment car speed limits are also determined. Car speed limits at level crossings can also differ significantly from a country to country.. For more information on the different car speed limits for level crossings in different European countries, please consult Tables 1, 2 and 3.
1.6 Level Crossing Signage in Europe
The most common sign for Level Crossings is the St Andrew’s cross. Apart from its common name, however, this sign is designed in a different way in many countries. According to the Vienna Convention St Andrews Cross signs and warning lights have to be the same in all signatory countries. This decision, however, has not yet been applied in reality. In some countries, such as Germany for example, the St Andrew Cross differs from the one prescribed by the Vienna convention. It is the same situation with warning lights. Their appearance and meaning is different in a number of countries.
1.6.1 Signage with St Andrew Crosses
Not in every county level crossings are equipped with St Andrews Crosses. If in Germany, Austria, Hungary and the Czech Republic all level crossings are equipped with St Andrews Cross signs, in countries like Great Britain, Italy or Portugal St. Andrews Cross signs are to be seen only at level crossings without barriers. According to the Vienna convention all St Andrews Cross signs are supposed to have the following common designs:
Fig. 1: St Andrew’s cross at railway lines with two or more tracks (vertical and horizontal)
Fig. 2: St Andrew Cross at railway lines with one track (vertical and horizontal)
St Andrew’s Crosses that are conformant with the design determined by the Vienna Convention are used for example in Spain, Hungary, Italy, Great Britain, Switzerland,
12
Portugal or the Czech Republic. Sometimes St Andrew’s cross can have also a yellow background instead of a white one. Many countries have different St Andrew Crosses, not compliant with the Vienna convention. Some examples are stated below:
Fig. 3: St Andrew Cross in Belgium at railway lines with two or more tracks
Fig. 4: St Andrew Cross in Belgium at railway lines with one track
Fig. 5: St Andrew Cross in the Netherlands at railway lines with two or more tracks
Fig. 6: St Andrew Cross in the Netherlands at railway lines with one track
13
Fig. 7: St Andrew Cross in Norway at railway lines with two or more tracks
Fig. 8: St Andrews Cross in Norway at railway lines with one track
Fig. 9: St Andrews Cross in Germany at all level crossings
A mid or long term goal should it be to influence these countries to bring the design of the St Andrew’s Cross in conformity with the Vienna Convention.
1.6.2 Signage with warning lights
According to the Vienna Convention, visual warnings at level crossings should consist of a flashing red light or two red flashing lights which should be activated when the train is approaching a level crossing. Visual warnings using the three-colour light system (red-yellow-green) are also allowed. A yellow-red combination is permitted only if another three colour signal is in direct proximity or the crossing is equipped with full barriers. A white flashing light can be used for signalling that the equipment is working when a train is not approaching. These regulations are, however, not consistently applied everywhere. In many countries there are variations and deviations from these rules. Some examples are stated below: Red Flashing Light (E.g. Germany, France, Poland)
14
Fig. 10: St Andrew Cross with red flashing light in Germany
Red Cross Flashing Lights (E.g. Czech Republic, Hungary, United Kingdom, Poland)
Fig. 11: Warning lights in Czech and Slovak Republic (Pozor Vlak = Beware of train)
Fig. 12: Warning lights in Finland and Sweden
Fig. 13: Warning lights in Great Britain and Ireland
15
Fig. 15: St. Andrews Cross in Denmark with one track
Amber-Red Steady Light (E.g. Austria, Germany)
Fig. 16: St Andrew’s Cross with Amber-Read steady light in Germany
1.6.3 Regulations relevant for car drivers
Due to the fact that the maximum car speeds at level crossings as well as the visual warnings for car drivers are different throughout Europe, the information about these parameters is most relevant. The purpose of this dissemination is to provide useful and understandable information to the road vehicle driver.
16
Fig. 17: Level Crossing with barriers – example from Switzerland
Table 1: Level Crossing with barriers – overview about legislation in available European countries
proportion max car
light
17
Level crossings with open barriers and without active red warning light can be crossed without looking for approaching trains only in Germany, the United Kingdom and France. In the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Hungary for example the responsibility is always carried by the road vehicle driver. In the Czech Republic and Slovakia a white flashing light allows the car driver a higher speed without looking for approaching trains. When barriers are lowering or closed the car driver has to stop in front of the level crossing and wait until the barriers open again. A level crossing should never be crossed when the barriers are closed. If a car gets stuck between closed barriers the driver has to drive through in order to leave the danger zone immediately. The trains are usually not able to stop.
Passive Level Crossings
Fig. 15: Passive Level Crossing – example from Germany
Table 2: Level Crossing with warning lights – overview about legislation in available European countries
proportion max car
Bulgaria 12% 90 Partly train horn
Hungary 49% 40 Partly train horn
Spain 57% 50 Partly train horn
Finland 81% 80 United
Slovakia 53% 30
Belgium 16% 90
France 23% 90
Austria 70% 100
18
If a road vehicle driver approaches a level crossing without warning lights or barriers he/she has carries full responsibility for crossing safely. The road vehicle driver should approach slowly, look and listen for trains from both directions and stop only if a train is approaching. If there is a STOP-sign he/she must always stop and look to assure himself/ herself that no train is approaching. Only then the driver can pass the level crossing.
Level Crossings with warning lights
Fig. 19: Level Crossing with warning lights – example from Switzerland
19
Table 3 Level Crossing with warning lights – overview of the national legislation in several European countries
A level crossing with warning lights can be crossed without looking for approaching trains if a white warning light is flashing. White warning lights are used for example in the Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Belgium. If there is no white warning light the driver should take care for his/her own safety. If a yellow light, red light or red flashing light appears at level crossings, the car driver has to stop in front of the level crossing. A level crossing can never be crossed when yellow or red warning lights appear. In the case of a yellow light, driving across the level crossing is only permitted if the car driver is not able to stop anymore.
In France, Germany and the United Kingdom no red light at level crossings means that the car driver can cross the level crossing without checking for trains.
1.6.4 Publication of the leaflet
After gathering all the relevant information the leaflet (in annex 8) has been drafted by ADAC in cooperation with its SELCAT partners. When reviewing the leaflet the SELCAT steering committee recognized that giving a good overview of the legal situation in all European countries is a too complex task for a small leaflet. Furthermore, some legal problems with regards to the publication of the leaflet and consequent liability were identified. No sufficient way for using the leaflet for
proportion max car
steady red light (new)
Italy 2% n.a.
Bells, flashing red
light
20
informative purpose only was found. The publishers of the leaflet do not want to be liable for any incidents caused by wrong, simplified or misinterpreted information. The SELCAT Steering Committee gathered around the opinion that a further inquiry into the national legal situation was necessary before the publication and distribution of such a leaflet. Therefore it was decided that the leaflet will not be published at this stage.
21
Conclusions and recommendations
Each year people die in accidents in which road vehicles collide with trains on level crossings. 95% of these fatalities are attributed to error behaviour of the road vehicle driver. Despite these facts, society labels most fatal accidents at level crossings as a rail problem.
The rail community regards this as a particular problem largely because, despite a range of risk control measures, it is not possible to anticipate the actions of individual road vehicle drivers and pedestrians at level crossings. The actions and misuse by road users public throughout Europe disproportionately account for over 35% of ALL accidents recorded in the UIC’s safety database for the year 2005. Clearly this is a significant risk area for the rail sector.
However, over the same period, only 2% of all road deaths in Europe (approximately 41,300) occurred at level crossings.
So a significant risk to the safe operation of the rail network is in fact only a small element of the overall road safety.
The critical need to achieve improved road-user level crossing awareness and reduced safety risk to rail employees, rail passengers and society in general has been highlighted by a number of recent major level crossing accidents (UK – 2004 and 2006, Israel and Australia – 2006 and 2007, Poland and France 2007) all caused by the driver of the road vehicle .
Without the engagement of the road sector, however, there cannot be expected any significant improvement of level crossing safety. For this reason the following recommendation have been made:
Enabling
• Seek to harmonise the legislative background applicable to level crossings (signage, operational rules, responsibilities, maintenance, etc.)
Education
• Traffic laws at level crossings are not widely understood so car drivers need educating about them
• Road user behaviour has to be addressed by educational campaigns at the European level
Evaluation
• There is a need for the collection of accident data in a standardised form through common reporting and evaluation systems
• An European level crossing accident and knowledge management system should be set up
• Improvements at level crossings should be targeted at those level crossings with the highest safety risk and the greatest opportunity for improvement
Engineering
22
• There is a case for the configuration of all level crossings to the latest standards
• There should be regular revisions to the technical protection at crossings and the position of traffic signs as well as the sight triangles
Enforcement
• There is a need to promote the development of links with law enforcement agencies to cultivate a systematic approach reduce offences
References
[1] SELCAT Deliverable D1, Report about Statistics, Database Analysis and Regulations for Level Crossing
[2] A. Pira: Monitoring of Safety Performance activity ‘DEFINITIONS OF COMMON SAFETY INDICATORS on level crossings’ (Draft), European Railway Agency, 2007
23
Annex 1 Example for poorly equipped level crossings
In 2005, Germany had 22,205 level crossings in the 37,958km network of Deutsche Bahn AG. 45 per cent of these level crossings are secured by barriers, two thirds of which are half barriers and one third full barriers. Almost seven per cent of the German level crossings are equipped with either flashing lights or light signals but do not have a barrier. All other level crossings are not equipped with a technical protection system.
With 3,869 level crossings, Bavaria has by far the largest number of level crossings, yet it also has the longest railway network (6,154km). In relative terms, Saxony has the most level crossings, i.e. 0.79 per km of railway. Bavaria comes in fifth with 0.63. With the exception of the city states, Saarland ranks last with 0.34 level crossings per km of railway. A comparison of the city states Berlin and Hamburg shows that the capital Berlin has more than 30 level crossings on 607km, i.e. 0.05 level crossings per km. Hamburg has almost the same number of level crossings (31) on no more than 282km of railway, which means only 0.11 level crossings per km of railway for the Hanseatic city. Looking beyond the German borders, we can see that Poland has nearly one level crossing per km of railway (18,517 level crossings on 19,599km). With 7,485 level crossings on 16,208km, the United Kingdom has only approximately half as many level crossings per km of railway as Poland.
24
Annex 2 With or without barriers – rail traffic always has the right of way
Rail traffic always has the right of way – at any level crossing. And every level crossing is equipped with a crossbuck granting the right of way to rail traffic. Otherwise, the protection system used varies from level crossing to level crossing. Level crossings are either equipped with a technical or a non-technical protection system. In few cases, they are monitored by a flagman with a red-white flag or connection to the control centre. Technical protection systems either include light signals or flashing lights, in some cases also half barriers. When full barriers are used as a technical protection system, either light signals or flagmen are mandatory. The type of protection system used depends on the speed limits of both trains and vehicles. In the case of a level crossing without a technical protection system involving a normal road, maximum vehicle speed must not exceed 50kph and maximum train speed 80kph. If the level crossing is on a private road, trains can travel at up to 140kph, and if it is on a footpath or bicycle path, maximum train speed is 160kph. In the case of level crossings which are equipped with a technical protection system, vehicles may travel at a maximum speed of 70kph and trains at 160kph. Only on lines which are equipped with bridges or underpasses, may train speed exceed 160kph. The costs for a technically protected level crossing are tremendous. While a level crossing without technical protection costs some €6,000, a pedestrian barrier costs between €80,000 and €100,000, a light signal system €200,000, a half barrier including light signals between €400,00 and €500,000, and a full barrier up to €600,000. However, these sums only cover the technical system. They do not include the costs for land acquisition, road construction, administration and planning as well as VAT, which depend on the local circumstances.
25
Annex 3 Level crossing statistics
In 2005, Germany had 22,205 level crossings in the 37,958km network of Deutsche Bahn AG. 45 per cent of these level crossings are secured by barriers, two thirds of which are half barriers and one third full barriers. Almost seven per cent of the German level crossings are equipped with either flashing lights or light signals but do not have a barrier. All other level crossings are not equipped with a technical protection system.
With 3,869 level crossings, Bavaria has by far the largest number of level crossings, yet it also has the longest railway network (6,154km). In relative terms, Saxony has the most level crossings, i.e. 0.79 per km of railway. Bavaria comes in fifth with 0.63. With the exception of the city states, Saarland ranks last with 0.34 level crossings per km of railway. A comparison of the city states Berlin and Hamburg shows that the capital Berlin has more than 30 level crossings on 607km, i.e. 0.05 level crossings per km. Hamburg has almost the same number of level crossings (31) on no more than 282km of railway, which means only 0.11 level crossings per km of railway for the Hanseatic city. Looking beyond the German borders, we can see that Poland has nearly one level crossing per km of railway (18,517 level crossings on 19,599km). With 7,485 level crossings on 16,208km, the United Kingdom has only approximately half as many level crossings per km of railway as Poland.
Number of level crossings by type of protection system
(Source: DB AG, Bahnübergänge im Spiegel der Statistik 2005)
617 55
fl a
g m
a n
without with without with without with without with with flashing light light signals barriers
Total Technical protection system Non-technical protection system Type of protection system
N u
m b
e r
26
Annex 4 Lack of attention and lack of knowledge, mistakes and major offences
A train travelling at 100kph takes some 1000m to come to a standstill. This is a good enough reason to grant the right of way to rail traffic. But there is more to it: a level crossing is an intersection of two radically different modes of transport. This involves specific problems and many complex rules. Only if – within the legal framework – the components road user, vehicle, rail and road harmonise and take due care, will the system be safe. Road users usually abide by traffic
regulations and are cooperative. They do not want to unnecessarily endanger themselves or other road users. Nonetheless, dangerous behaviour does occur, whether intentional or (mostly) unintentional. According to a scientific classification, unintentional dangerous behaviour can either be seen as a lack of attention or a lack of knowledge; intentional dangerous behaviour can be classified into mistakes (e.g. intentional speeding) or major routine offences (e.g. “I never stop at flashing red lights.”). This classification clearly shows what impact various problems may have and where measures should be taken. The Continental road traffic survey conducted in 2005 on problems relating to crossbucks (“Das Kreuz mit dem Andreaskreuz”) produced interesting results. For the survey, 1,200 motorists were interviewed on their knowledge about and their behaviour and sentiments at level crossings. The most important results are as follows: Practice makes perfect In Germany, more than 50% of the respondents use a level crossing only several times a month or more rarely. No more than 18% negotiate a level crossing on a daily basis. In contrast, all road users are likely to cross a traffic-light-controlled intersection daily. This implies that they are not required to put their level crossing-relevant knowledge into practice and strengthen behaviour patterns on a daily basis. Consequently, they do not automatically enter their subconscious mind and routine behaviour patterns are lost. Good things do not always come to those who wait Approximately one third of the respondents gets annoyed at too long barrier closure times. Railway operators can determine the closure time of full barriers at level crossings at their own discretion, which may be ages for those who wait. For a comparison: traffic lights usually turn green after a maximum of 90 seconds, and the closure time of half barriers does not exceed four minutes. To avoid long closure times, locals familiar with the level crossing overtake the vehicles already waiting and
27
cross it just before the barriers are closed. Some also avoid it and use a level crossing without a technical protection system, preferring a detour to a long waiting time. Road users get annoyed at excessive waiting times, which may influence their driving behaviour. Fear is a bad advisor In Germany, more than 50% of the respondents feel insecure when crossing a level crossing which is only equipped with a crossbuck. Insecurity may cause road users to react inappropriately or to overreact, and affects acquired routine behaviour patterns. This in fact makes level crossings unsafe. Level crossing – an unknown entity 60% of the Germans thought the flashing red light was only a warning. No more than 39% knew that a flashing red light at a level crossing means “stop”. This lack of knowledge is worrying. However, in the German highway code, flashing red lights are actually only used in relation to level crossings: in road traffic, non-flashing red traffic lights mean “stop” while amber flashing lights are used to warn road users. Even if it is the road users’ responsibility to keep themselves informed about the regulations in force, level crossings could be designed in a way which makes them more or less “self-explanatory”. The responsible parties and the legislator must pay greater attention to this issue.
28
Annex 5 A level crossing is a shared responsibility
As every child knows, a level crossing is an intersection of a road and a railway on the same level. However, road is a generic term which covers federal highways, state-owned, district-owned or municipal roads on the one hand, and footpaths, bicycle paths, agricultural roads as well as private agricultural or forestry roads on the other. As a result, competence lies with many different bodies. The same applies to the railway network which includes the DB AG’s network and non-federal and industrial railways.
Level crossing protection is the common task of all those responsible for the operation and oversight of roads and railways. While the railway authorities are responsible for the intersection of railway and road including a 2.25m area on either side of the outer tracks as well as for crossbucks, barriers, light signals and any railway installation located within this zone, the road authorities are responsible for the road and footpath and all installations such as road signs and markings. They must also ensure unrestricted view from the road to the tracks. Intersections of road and railway come under the purview of a wide range of laws, regulations, administrative provisions and directives. Current technical standards apply.
29
Annex 6 Accident figures continue to fall
Black spots in the DB AG network (DB AG 2006, consecutively numbered, colour = number of accidents) “Killed at level crossing” or “Van crushed by train” are typical headlines for crashes at level crossings. Such headlines underscore that every person killed or injured is one too many. However, the number of level crossing accidents has been declining steadily over the past years. The most recent DB AG statistic shows that 231 accidents occurred in Germany in 2005 in which 39 people were killed, 63 severely and 189 slightly injured. Ten years ago, in 1995, no fewer than 603 accidents had happened killing 99 people. Almost three thirds of the 2005 accidents involved passenger cars which points towards a much higher proportion than that of trucks or pedestrians. While every second accident occurred on a regional railway line where top speed does not exceed 80kph, some 25% of the accidents happened on regional lines with 80 to 120kph maximum speed. Compared to all other types of accidents, the number of level crossing accidents and casualties is very small. Level crossing accidents do not account for more than 0.01% of the total number of accidents, and the number of persons killed amounts to under 1%. This applies to Germany and Europe alike. While many European countries have achieved a 50% reduction in the number of accidents and casualties over the past decade, the statistics of some European countries such as the Czech Republic do not show a positive trend as the number of accidents is still way up. However, the risk of sustaining sever injuries or getting killed is very high at level crossings, since every fourth person involved in such an accident dies. A comparison of the signal systems and accident structure in Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic shows that level crossings which are not equipped with a technical protection system do not necessarily pose the greater danger. In this, level crossing accidents differ from road accidents, where at intersections which are not controlled by traffic lights, comparatively more accidents occur.
30
Annex 7 Much needs to be done – from on-site inspections to European harmonisation
For improved level crossing safety in Europe, the responsible road and railway authorities/operators will have much to do in the years to come. The key tasks are: Conducting regular inspections Level crossing safety does not only require an efficient protection system. It is also vital that road signs and markings are placed correctly and that the visibility of the road signs and the railway lines is ensured. Also, the requirements for the type of protection system in place may have changed because of e.g. the construction of a new bicycle path or an increase in traffic volume. The railway operator should inspect their installations at least twice a year. The railway operator and authority, the road operator and authority, the police and the local automobile club should perform joint level crossing inspections at least every three years. For such inspections, jointly developed inspection guidelines such as the “Leitfaden Verkehrsschau am Bahnübergang” (Ministry of Transport of Rhineland- Palatinate, 2003) including organisational requirements and provisions for the use of road signs and markings are useful. In addition, a data sheet for each level crossing including layouts, detailed descriptions and inspection results would be helpful. Road inspections with custom vehicles, which have been successfully employed in ADAC road tests for years, also allow to feed road-related information into databases and to videotape the test ride. Identifying and exploiting the technical potential It is crucial that flashing red lights be replaced by yellow-red traffic lights as they do not comply with the highway code and are difficult to comprehend. Moreover, improvements require the identification and analysis of the current closure times of all level crossings in the EU. The same applies to the interval between the barrier’s closure and the train’s arrival at the level crossing. If level crossings protected by half barriers are used by pedestrians or cyclists, they must be equipped with additional pedestrian barriers. However, the installation of such barriers or other reconstruction measures would not be permitted if cables have become brittle. This, on the other hand, is dangerous since failure or short circuits may occur. It is essential that the railway operators inspect old level crossings and, if required, take the relevant upgrading measures. The expenses for such upgrading must be covered by the railway operator. Discussions should also include the use of whistling as a protection system on low- speed lines where trains do not exceed 60kph. If the daily traffic volume does not exceed 100 vehicles, this protection system can be used in Germany on single-way railway lines which are not equipped with a technical protection system. However, this type of protection system is problematic as the visibility of the tracks may be poor and the train’s whistling hardly audible. Moreover, the sound-proofing quality of cars prevents motorists from hearing approaching trains. To alert motorists, the
31
effectiveness of low-cost measures such as transverse rumble strips must also be examined. Scrutinising legislation Legislation should not be “protected” for its own sake. Neither should there be a ban on presenting new ideas. Most of all, the funding of reconstruction and new facilities as laid down in the railway intersection act should be revised. Currently, the costs incurred for the reconstruction of level crossings are divided by equal share among the local authority, the federal government and the railway operator. Small communities are often unable to cover the high expenses incurred for the reconstruction of level crossings on municipal roads. The cost-sharing principle is very problematic for municipalities in which trains do not even stop. While in such cases, municipalities are obliged to co-fund the construction of bridges or underpasses, they do not profit from the upgrading of the line. Launching awareness campaigns already at schools All road users must be provided with better information on the regulations, dangers and correct behaviour at level crossings. A good starting point are traffic education programmes at schools for which some departments of the German federal police and railway operators have developed useful material. Another important partner would be the driving schools. Their focus should be the correct behaviour at level crossings which are not equipped with a technical protection system and the meaning of the flashing red light. Dedicated campaigns such as the Germany-wide “Cross safely” campaign, which is carried out by DB AG (German Railways), ADAC and DVR (German Road Safety Council), round off the information package. Flyers, posters and joint press activities at regional level are the key to effective awareness campaigns. Providing general access to accident data In Germany, accident data is collected on standardised accident report forms and fed into a geo-referenced database by the regulatory authority. Availability of accident data must not be restricted to authorities and operators. It must also be provided to the general public for standardised statistics and specific analyses. It is essential to identify accidents and black spots on regional maps as people have a special interest in what is going on in their immediate surroundings. Reasons and possible solutions must also be provided to the general public. And it must be informed on the results of the level crossing inspections. Harmonising European legislation While the “right of way for rail” principle applies throughout Europe, level crossing regulations vary from country to country. This also applies to protection systems and, despite the 1968 Vienna Convention on the standardisation of road traffic signs, to road signs. This means that motorists must adapt to different standards whenever they leave their home country. Two examples: It is mandatory for HGVs in Spain to stop at level crossings, and a flashing white light in Belgium simply means “system in operation”. Motorists must be informed about the different national rules. The long- term goal is the harmonisation of these rules at European level.
32
In its High Level Group, the European Commission Directorate General for Transport focuses on the safety at level crossings. For a joint effort of different partners at European level, the "SELCAT" project was launched. ADAC supports this project, aiming at level crossing safety improvement in cooperation with the partners from the railway industry.
33
Annex 8 Leaflet proposal by ADAC and its SELCAT partners
34
Contents •Introduction •Level crossings in Europe •Level crossing signage in Europe •Recommendations from ADAC and the SELCAT project •The accident situation in different European countries
Introduction
ADAC, the biggest German motoring club, is committed to improve safety on the roads. Therefore it participated in SELCAT, a project of 24 which aims to improve safety at Level crossings.
Every year, more than 400 people are killed in more than 1200 accidents at road-rail intersections in the European Union. Level crossings (together with tunnels and specific road black spots) have been identified as being particular weak points on road networks, seriously affecting public safety. For railways, level crossings represent as much as 30% of
all fatalities.
35
Up to now, the only effective solution to this problem appears to involve upgrading level crossing safety systems even though in more then 90% of cases the primary accident cause is inadequate or improper human behaviour rather than any technical, rail-based
issue. High safety requirements for level crossing systems required in the European railway sector create a high cost barrier to the technological upgrades of existing systems.
To date the fact that level crossings are directly involved in only a very small proportion of road
accidents has limited the involvement and commitment of the road sector in developing solutions to the problem. This was one reason why the European Commission decided to fund the SELCAT Project (Safer European Level Crossing Appraisal and Technology) involving nine European countries. It is expected that this project will help improve the level of
engagement of road traffic engineers and policy makers throughout Europe, leading to the identification of better and smarter solutions and investment designed to facilitate their implementation.
ADAC has played an important role in SELCAT, committing to improve safety on road-rail crossings. Because human factors involving road vehicle drivers
creates the largest contribution to level crossing accidents, ADAC is supporting the project with the production of this leaflet, which is designed to inform road users about the different conditions and regulations at level crossings in Europe.
36
Level Crossings in Europe
Level Crossings are junctions between roads and railway lines on the level. Therefore safety at level crossings has to be the joint responsibility of road and rail authorities. Trains always have the right of way at level crossings. This right is indicated by traffic lights or signs, such as the St Andrews Cross. The St Andrews Cross sign is different in nearly every country even though the Convention on roads signs and signals signed by most countries in Vienna in 1968 declared that road signs had to be the same throughout Europe. This regulation applies to the St Andrews Cross signs at Level Crossings. Although the Convention has been in force for over forty years it has not been universally implemented.
Equipment at Level Crossings
Road users are warned of an imminent collision with a train in different ways:
- By an St Andrews Cross, without any ‘technical’ equipment or - By visual warnings given by traffic lights or - By protection given by full or half barriers
These three kinds of warning can be substituted by a warning from a railway employee or a police officer.
The type of announcement differs from country to country and is dependent on traffic conditions on the railway or road networks. Different regulations are contained in national highway codes. With the opening of borders between different European countries in recent decades level crossing accident danger risk has increased because of the lack of consistent information available to road users.
An overview of road traffic rules in selected European countries can be found on pages 8-10.
37
Level Crossing Signage in Europe
The most common sign for Level Crossings is the St Andrews Cross – but it is different in many countries. According to the Vienna Convention St Andrews Cross signs and warning lights have to be the same in all signatory countries.
St Andrew Cross Signs
Level Crossings are not equipped with St Andrews Crosses in every country. In Germany, Austria, Hungary and the Czech Republic for example, St Andrews Cross signs are fitted at all level crossings. In other countries like Great Britain, Italy or Portugal these signs are only fitted at level crossings without barriers. St Andrews Cross signs are supposed to have the following common designs, according to the Vienna convention, as follows: (Traffic signs can be with yellow background as well)
single track railways
double track railways
38
Many countries have still St Andrews Crosses which do not comply with the Vienna convention. Some examples are stated below:
Netherlands: double track railways
Netherlands: single track railways
Norway: double track railways
Norway: single track railways
Belgium: double track railways
Belgium: single track railways
Warning Lights
According to the Vienna Convention, visual warnings at level crossings should consist of a flashing red or two red flashing lights activated when a train is approaching. These can instead be a three colour light system (red-yellow-green). A yellow-red combination is allowed only if an other three colour signal is in direct proximity or the crossing is equipped with full barriers. A white flashing light can be used for signalling that the equipment is working when a train is not approaching. These regulations are not consistently applied to European level crossings and there are many variations in different countries.
Some examples are stated below:
Red-yellow traffic signs: Red flashing light:
Germany
Red & White/Yellow Flashing light: Approaching train/s: Flashing red light (above) Level crossing is safe: flashing white light (below)
(Pozor Vlak = Beware of train) Czech & Slovak Republics
Finland & Sweden Great Britain & Ireland
Germany
Belgium
40
Proporti on of all crossing s
Max car speed (kph)
Finland 81% 80
Austria 70% 100 stop-sign
Italy 26% n.a. train horn
- Drivers should decrease speed to check that there is no train approaching from either direction before crossing -If there is a STOP sign, drivers must stop in at or before the sign and look in both directions for approaching trains. Drivers should continue only if no train is approaching -Remember that you are fully responsible for your own safety when crossing the line
41
Level Crossings with Warning Lights
-If there is no activated red warning light: drivers should decrease speed to check that there is no train approaching from either direction before crossing
-If no light is shown drivers are fully responsible for their own safety when crossing the line (exceptions France, Germany, United Kingdom)
-White flashing lights mean that drivers can cross at higher speed without looking for trains Red light / Red flashing lights mean STOP before the LC, and wait until the red light stops - NEVER CROSS A RED LIGHT!
Warning Light Level Crossings
Proportion of all crossings
Max car speed (kph)
Germany
7% 70 Bells with red flashing light (old) or bells with steady red light (new)
Bulgaria 35% 90 Bells, flashing red light
Hungary 31% 40
Slovakia 19% 30
Belgium 17% 90 Flashing red lights
France 1% 90 Flashing red lights
Netherlands 0% 50
Switzerland 7% 80
Italy 2% n.a.
warning lights)
If the barriers are open, and the red warning is not showing, decrease speed so that you can be sure that there is no train approaching from any of both sides and cross. If no light is given you are fully responsible for your safety when crossing (exceptions GER, F, UK) If the barriers are open with a white flashing light: you can cross at higher speed without looking for trains Yellow light stop if you can, otherwise cross (except in UK) If barriers are closing / closed / red light / or red flashing light shows: STOP before LC, wait till barriers are up and the red light stops If you should get stuck between barriers crash through the far barrier - never stay in the danger zone! Trains cannot stop! NEVER CROSS AT CLOSING OR CLOSED BARRIERS OR AT RED LIGHTS!
Level Crossings with barriers
Germany 46% 70 Bells with steady red lights
Bulgaria 52% 90 Bells, train horn, flashing red lights
Hungary
flashing red light
Finland 17% 80 Bells, red flashing light
United Kingdom 17% 110
Flashing red lights, audible
traffic light
Netherlands
prewarning flashing lights at
Austria 22% 100
43
SELCAT partners
Education
• Traffic laws at level crossings are not widely understood so car drivers need educating about them
• Road user behaviour has to be addressed by educational campaigns at the European level
Evaluation
• There is a need for the collection of accident data in a standardised form through common reporting and evaluation systems
• An European level crossing accident and knowledge management system should be set up
• Improvements at level crossings should be targeted at those level crossings with the highest safety risk and the greatest opportunity for improvement
Engineering • There is a case for the configuration of all level
crossings to the latest standards • There should be regular revisions to the technical
protection at crossings and the position of traffic signs as well as the sight triangles
Enforcement
links with law enforcement agencies to cultivate a
systematic approach reduce offences
In cooperation with:
SELCAT consortium www.levelcrossing.net Technische Universität Braunschweig Institut für Verkehrssicherheit und Automatisierungstechnik Langer Kamp 8, 38106 Braunschweig, Germany