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Differences in drivers’ perception and interactions with boom-controlled rail level crossings in urban versus rural environments

Beanland, V, Salmon, P, Young, K, Filtness, A, Read, G, Lenne, M, Stanton, N

Human Factors 1

ARSC conference 2016

EXTENDED ABSTRACT: Efforts to improve rail level crossing (RLX) safety are hampered in part by the sheer number of RLXs; approximately 10,500 in Australia, with diverse characteristics. The plethora of RLX environments means a single standard RLX design may not be appropriate, since the same infrastructure could generate distinct interactions depending on its surrounding context. Using instrumented vehicles, we compared drivers’ perceptions and interactions with boom-controlled active RLXs in two vastly different on-road environments: urban and rural. Results suggest that although urban RLX environments are more complex and demanding, drivers in rural areas are more likely to perceive RLXs as hazardous.