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Addressing road user behavioural changes at railway level crossings.
In August 2006, the National Railway Level Crossing Behavioural Coordination Group (BCG) was formed as a unique national initiative. Endorsed by the Australian Transport Council (ATC), the group is comprised of senior road and rail government representatives from each state and territory and the Australasian Railway Association. With a focus on level crossing safety, the BCG oversees the development, delivery and evaluation of research and projects that aim to improve road user behaviour by implementing education, awareness, enforcement and technological initiatives. It has achieved significant success in its first two years of existence.
The full paper will explore the following BCG projects:
• In 2007, the BCG commissioned the first National Rail Level Crossing Study. Over 4400 road users participated in the survey that measured awareness, knowledge and perceptions of the rules and risks associated with level crossings.
• Also in 2007, the BCG completed the Exemplar Education and Enforcement Pilot. This was a ‘before and after’ study that measured road user behaviour at level crossing sites in Victoria and the Northern Territory. The Pilot was conducted to provide a basis on which to develop guidelines for effective, practical and sustainable enforcement programs and associated community education programs at level crossings for use across all jurisdictions.
• Using the findings from the Behavioural Survey and Education and Enforcement Pilot, together with awareness and education programs from overseas for baseline information, a Communications Package is being created by the BCG. Once complete, this will be available for all jurisdictions, allowing national campaign(s) to be developed and implemented that are based on reliable national and local information.