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Wullems C.,Cooperative Research Center for Rail Innovation | Wullems C.,Queensland University of Technology
Safety Science

This paper discusses major obstacles for the adoption of low-cost level crossing warning devices (LCLCWDs) in Australia and reviews those trialed in Australia and internationally. The argument for the use of LCLCWDs is that for a given investment, more passive level crossings can be treated, therefore increasing safety benefits across the rail network. This approach, in theory, reduces risk across the network by utilizing a combination of low-cost and conventional level crossing interventions, similar to what is done in the road environment. This paper concludes that in order to determine if this approach can produce better safety outcomes than the current approach, involving the incremental upgrade of level crossings with conventional interventions, it is necessary to perform rigorous risk assessments and cost-benefit analyses of LCLCWDs. Further research is also needed to determine how best to differentiate less reliable LCCLWDs from conventional warning devices through the use of different warning signs and signals. This paper presents a strategy for progressing research and development of LCLCWDs and details how the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Rail Innovation is fulfilling this strategy through the current and future affordable level crossing projects. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Naweed A.,Central Queensland University | Naweed A.,Cooperative Research Center for Rail Innovation
Accident Analysis and Prevention

A signal passed at danger (SPAD) event occurs when a train moves past a stop signal into a section of unauthorised track. SPAD events are frequently attributed to driver distraction and inattention, but few studies have explored the failure mode from the perspective of task demand and the ability of the driver to self-regulate in response to competing activities. This study aimed to provide a more informed understanding of distraction, inattention and SPAD-risk in the passenger rail task. The research approach combined focus groups with a generative task designed to stimulate situational insight. Twenty-eight train drivers participated from 8 different rail operators in Australia and New Zealand. Data were analysed thematically and revealed several moderating factors for driver distraction. Time-keeping pressure and certain aspects of the driver-controller dynamic were considered to distort performance, and distractions from station dwelling and novel events increased SPAD-risk. The results are conceptualised in a succinct model of distraction linking multiple factors with mechanisms that induced the attentional shift. The commonalities and inter-dynamics of the factors revealed insight into driving anxiety in the passenger rail mode, and suggested that SPAD-risk was intensified when three or more factors converged. The paper discusses these issues in the context of misappropriated attention, taxonomic implications, and directions for future research.©' 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

Malik H.,Queensland University of Technology | Larue G.S.,Queensland University of Technology | Larue G.S.,Cooperative Research Center for Rail Innovation | Rakotonirainy A.,Queensland University of Technology | And 2 more authors.
IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems

Driver training is one of the interventions aimed at mitigating the number of crashes that involve novice drivers. Our failure to understand what is really important for learners, in terms of risky driving, is one of the many drawbacks restraining us from building better training programs. Currently, there is a need to develop and evaluate advanced driving assistance systems that could comprehensively assess driving competencies. The aim of this paper is to present a novel intelligent driver training system that analyzes crash risks for a given driving situation, providing avenues for the improvement and personalization of driver training programs. The analysis takes into account numerous variables synchronously acquired from the driver, the vehicle, and the environment. The system then segments out the maneuvers within a drive. This paper further presents the fuzzy set theory to develop the safety inference rules for each maneuver executed during the drive, and presents a framework and its associated prototype that can be used to comprehensively view and assess complex driving maneuvers and then provides a comprehensive analysis of the drive used to give feedback to novice drivers. © 2000-2011 IEEE. Source

Naweed A.,Central Queensland University | Naweed A.,Cooperative Research Center for Rail Innovation | Rainbird S.,Central Queensland University | Rainbird S.,Cooperative Research Center for Rail Innovation | Dance C.,Rail Corporation New South Wales
Safety Science

The incidence of driving a train through a stop signal continues to have implications for safety on railways. Industry rulebooks advise how to manage these events, but there has been very little investigation of causality from the systems-view. The increasing trend for maximising rail capacities could be exacerbating the issue and warrants investigation from this perspective to determine the factors impinging on safety decisions in train driving. A participative research approach incorporating cab rides, focus groups, and a generative scenario simulation exercise was used to investigate how train movements and safety risk was managed, and the implications of this on the rail organisation. Twenty-eight train drivers participated from eight passenger rail organisations across Australia and New Zealand. Inductive thematic analysis of the data revealed factors associated with (1) changes to signal meaning, (2) the nature of the driver-signal relationship, and (3) the confounding practice of asking a driver if they were "fit to continue" driving after going through a stop signal. The findings reflected a strong pattern of a normalisation of deviance. The results are discussed in terms of the mechanisms underlying the observed phenomenon and a model outlining prospective solutions for future research is presented to contribute to the development of novel ideas for further thinking and research. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Naweed A.,Central Queensland University | Naweed A.,Cooperative Research Center for Rail Innovation | Balakrishnan G.,Central Queensland University | Balakrishnan G.,Cooperative Research Center for Rail Innovation

BACKGROUND: Due to the growth of information in the urban rail environment, there is a need to better understand the ergonomics profile underpinning the visual behaviours in train drivers. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to examine the tasks and activities of urban/metropolitan passenger train drivers in order to better understand the nature of the visual demands in their task activities. METHODS: Data were collected from 34 passenger train drivers in four different Australian states. The research approach used a novel participative ergonomics methodology that fused interviews and observations with generative tools. Data analysis was conducted thematically. RESULTS: Results suggested participants did not so much drive their trains, as manage the intensity of visually demanding work held in their environment. The density of this information and the opacity of the task, invoked an ergonomics profile more closely aligned with diagnostic and error detection than actual train regulation. CONCLUSIONS: The paper discusses the relative proportion of strategies corresponding with specific tasks, the visual-perceptual load in substantive activities, and the requisite visual skills behoving navigation in the urban rail environment. These findings provide the basis for developing measures of complexity to further specify the visual demands in passenger train driving. © 2014 - IOS Press and the authors. Source

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