Tag Archives: Distraction

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.

Bihar, India: Mobile phone use implicated in fatal accident

16 Dec

Two males were killed when the motorcycle on which they were riding was hit by a train on an unmanned level crossing near Baraiya in Bihar’s East Champaran district on December 12th, 2015. Witnesses have reported that the person in charge of the motorcycle was using a mobile telephone and that he was distracted, riding into the path of the train without first ascertaining whether it was safe to cross the railway.

Dundee, UK: Mechanic convicted of ignoring the red

19 Apr

A garage mechanic who ran the red lights protecting the Camperdown CCTV equipped manually controlled level crossing in Dundee has been convicted at Dundee’s Sheriff Court. The mechanic was on July 7th, 2014 test driving a car with a wheel bearing problem and appears to have been engrossed in listening for the defect with the result that he was distracted and did not see the red lights. This suggests a need for a mechanic to listen and another person to drive the car.

The mechanic was fined GBP300 and given six penalty points on his driving licence. Since the offence in question occurred, tNetwork Rail has permanently closed the level crossing, as the necessary authority was obtained.


Suffolk, UK: Level crossing upgrades see barriers added

4 Dec

A number of level crossings on the line linking Ipswich with Lowestoft have been upgraded with the addition of half-barriers at crossings previously of the active open type. Network Rail has upgraded the Melton, Brampton, Sun Wharf, Lime Kiln Quay, Ferry Lane, Haywards, Weston, Wenhaston and Willows Marsh AOCL type crossings, to improve railway and road safety.

San Leandro, CA: Distracted teen killed on level crossing

21 May

A teenager was fatally injured when she was struck by a train while using her mobile telephone with earphones as she crossed the railway at the Hesperian Boulevard level crossing in San Leandro. The accident occurred at about 17.55 on May 19th, 2014 on the level crossing that is equipped with lights and barriers. Witnesses have said that the level crossing was functioning correctly at the time of the accident and that a man had called out to her to warn her of the fast-approaching train.

Calgary, ALB: Pedestrian fatality, distraction likely

26 Feb

A man was fatally injured when he was struck by a light rapid transit train on a level crossing in Calgary, Alberta. The accident occurred on the level crossing at the intersection of 36th Street a d 12th Avenue NE at about 20.30 on February 25th, 2014. Police have reported that the pedestrian was probably distracted and unaware of the approaching train as witnesses have said that the victim was wearing headphones when the accident occurred.

Nottingham, United Kingdom: Inquest verdict implicates headphones

22 Jul

The death of a man on the Kings Mill footpath level crossing near Mansfield in May 2012 has been ruled accidental following a three-day coroner’s inquest in Nottingham. The evidence presented included the probability that the cyclist was killed had been listening to music through headphones at the time of the accident. Witnesses said that despite the sounding of the train’s horn, the cyclist did not look up and carried on cycling into the path of the train.

Back in 2007 it was suggested that the Kings Mill level crossing should be upgraded by the addition of red-green warning lights and prior to the accident Network Rail had initiated a feasibility study to establish whether this footpath level crossing might be replaced with a bridge.