New Plymouth, New Zealand: Are there lessons to learn from fatality

18 Jan

New plymouth District Council has said that it will do all it can to prevent a further fatality on the popular coastal footpath where it intersects the railway. Most recently an adult mails killed when on January 11th, 2016, he was hit by a train on one of four pedestrian crossings of the Kiwi Rail right-of-way on the coastal path within new Plymouth.

The coastal pathway is increasingly busy with an estimated annual pedestrian usage of some 350,000. There is an expectation that this will increase going forward.

In so far as the pedestrian crossing near Weymouth Street is concerned it is passive with a chicane approach so that users are prompted to look each way before they take a decision to cross at a clearly marked decision line. In this case distraction is a probable principal cause of the accident as the victim was wearing headphones and possibly also using a mobile telephone.

Previously, in 2004 there was also a fatality at this level crossing which KiwiRail has not risk ranked in a way that would trigger an upgrade.

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