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Level crossing stupidity...

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Unfortunately, there's absolutely no way the insurance companies will pay a penny cent towards repairing the train and the infrastructure nor the replacement bus service nor towards compensating the passengers / would-be passengers for their delays nor to the train driver for whatever post-traumatic stress he might suffer !

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3 hours ago, Wickham Green said:

Unfortunately, there's absolutely no way the insurance companies will pay a penny cent towards repairing the train and the infrastructure nor the replacement bus service nor towards compensating the passengers / would-be passengers for their delays nor to the train driver for whatever post-traumatic stress he might suffer !

So unlike BR days - where we used to make sure a Notice of Liability was sent out within three working days in respect of damage to infrastructure or rolling stock and any train delays., the invoice then followed - usually within a week but sometimes with the Notice of Liability  The best one I ever wrote was for a German symphony orchestra which arrived at Reading off an Airlink coach and delayed a West of England train for 25 minutes loading all their instruments and themselves - they were invoiced for over £200 including the admin fee and delay cost per minute at outside party rates.

 

Level crossing incidents normally meant an instant Notice of Liability but sometime the costs took a week or two to collate the whole amount as various departments could be involved, they tended to be very expensive for the motorist/their insurance company.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Wickham Green said:

Unfortunately, there's absolutely no way the insurance companies will pay a penny cent towards repairing the train and the infrastructure nor the replacement bus service nor towards compensating the passengers / would-be passengers for their delays nor to the train driver for whatever post-traumatic stress he might suffer !

 

So what legal change has there been, compared to the regime Mike describes? Or is the state of liability law so very different in Australia? The damage has been caused through the negligence of the car-owing parties.

Edited by Compound2632
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All the newspaper report tells us is the police do not think any changes under the Road Safety Act. If Australian railways have byelaws that are anything similar to ours, the railway may still have the opportunity to prosecute the drivers under those instead, potentially on the basis of obstruction of the railway. 

 

Jim

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Not being prosecuted for criminal negligence won't protect the drivers from a civil claim by the railway.

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I don't understand the decision not to prosecute though I suppose "being stupid" is not a crime.  If the initial accident was, as stated, a minor nose to tail bump, the surely both cars were capable of being driven off the crossing before details were exchanged.

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Northern Ireland Railways successfully sued the driver of a car that stalled on a level crossing causing a derailment, the writing off of one carriage, damages to train and track and, sadly, one railway passenger fatality and other passenger injuries.  Must have hit the car driver's no claim discount!

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It all depends on whether the drivers had third party cover. Its compulsory here in the UK but might not be in other countries/states.

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16 minutes ago, PhilJ W said:

It all depends on whether the drivers had third party cover. Its compulsory here in the UK but might not be in other countries/states.

It really doesn't matter whether the driver has cover or not.

 

The driver would be personally sued for any financial [or otherwise] losses....if the driver has no insurance  to cover said losses, then the driver personally becomes liable. Also liable for a costs awarded against them. [They may find they have Public Liability cover on their home insurance, for example?]

Whether the claimants get the monies the Court awards them is another matter entirely.  Especially if the driver has zero assets?

I suspect such awards may hang around for decades....until the driver concerned forgets, makes some money, then suddenly finds they lose it all?

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Colin_McLeod said:

I don't understand the decision not to prosecute though I suppose "being stupid" is not a crime.  If the initial accident was, as stated, a minor nose to tail bump, the surely both cars were capable of being driven off the crossing before details were exchanged.

Actually, a revised version of the events has been issued. The reporter apparently based the earlier item, on police information.

 

https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/traumatised-driver-had-seconds-to-avoid-pakenham-train-smash-20190716-p527uk.html

Edited by kevinlms
Fat Fingers Disease!
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2 hours ago, PhilJ W said:

It all depends on whether the drivers had third party cover. Its compulsory here in the UK but might not be in other countries/states.

It isn't in Australia. The only compulsory insurance for motor vehicles is for personal injury, various state government schemes.

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RAIB report today.

 

This looks a serious near miss with echoes of Hixon:

 

https://www.gov.uk/raib-reports/report-11-2019-serious-operational-irregularity-at-bagillt-user-worked-crossing

 

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5d53c9aee5274a42dd9924c7/R112019_190815_Bagillt.pdf


"At around 11:57 hrs on 17 August 2018, a passenger train travelled over Bagillt
user worked crossing with telephones (UWC-T), near Flint, Flintshire, shortly
after a road vehicle weighing 60.5 tonnes had passed over the crossing. Railway
signals had not been set to red to protect the crossing from train movements
before this permission was given. The train, reporting number 1D34, was the
09:53 hrs Manchester Piccadilly to Holyhead service and was travelling at about
75 mph (121 km/h) when it reached the crossing, probably about one minute after
the road vehicle had crossed. A person walking over the crossing to close the
gates behind the vehicle was alarmed to see the approaching train and ran clear
of the crossing."

 

Martin.

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As it says in the RAIB briefing, there seems to have been a potentially severe misinterpretation of the rules and the rule book.  It also mentions NR risk assessments relating to the crossing. 

 

This highlights an issue with risk assessments; if the risk assessed is not the actual risk due to the process being different or being done incorrectly, then the risk assessment is irrelevant. 

 

There should be a Hazard Area Assessment as well, referring to the crossing (rather than it's use) and that may be found lacking if there is found to be any inaccuracy of signage or similar.

 

The question may also be of familiarity breeding contempt.  The road vehicle operators may not consider it a large vehicle whereas the vehicle's progress may match NR's opinion of a large vehicle (any STGO load would constitute a large load, but a large load that falls in the gap of large and slow but not STGO might not).  Apocryphal knowledge suggests it's common and it may be that the crossing is used more than a User Operated Crossing might be expected and by large slow vehicles and that some people at NR know this but expected it to be 'done by the book'.

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14 hours ago, daveyb said:

............ The question may also be of familiarity breeding contempt.  The road vehicle operators may not consider it a large vehicle whereas the vehicle's progress may match NR's opinion of a large vehicle (any STGO load would constitute a large load, but a large load that falls in the gap of large and slow but not STGO might not).  .............

Looks to me that the Crossing Assistant's assessment of the vehicle was perfectly OK - he estimated time for the baler to cross as 'two minutes, if that' and it crossed in about 28 seconds ( he was rather conservative here )  and the time between the end of his first 'phone call and start of the second, to say the vehicle was clear, was only two minutes twenty seconds ..................... whether two minutes was enough for the signaller to allow is a different matter. ( As it happens, the Crossing Assistant could have been the only casualty - though that's one casualty too many, of course. )

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14 hours ago, daveyb said:

The road vehicle operators may not consider it a large 

 

Just one passing comment, the report says the vehicle was over 60 tons, by anyone's standards that is a large vehicle. Even most HGVs are only 44 tons. Perhaps the operators need to start looking outside their bubble.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Hobby said:

 

Just one passing comment, the report says the vehicle was over 60 tons, by anyone's standards that is a large vehicle. Even most HGVs are only 44 tons. Perhaps the operators need to start looking outside their bubble.

 

Thing is it was pretty much the same as a normal artic just a bit heavier. Probably quite happy travelling at 56mph along with all the other HGV's. Compared to a 120 ton transformer it would not be considered an abnormally large vehicle.  Although a lot of focus has been on the type of vehicle, this was incidental to the main cause which was the signalman was mistaken about how close the train was, and that the crossing was much wider than normal taking extra time to cross, which the signalman had not taken account of.  Had it been a normal 44 tonner, Then the train would still have arrived at the crossing soon enough to constitute a near miss.

Edited by Titan
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19 minutes ago, Titan said:

 

Thing is it was pretty much the same as a normal artic just a bit heavier. Probably quite happy travelling at 56mph along with all the other HGV's. Compared to a 120 ton transformer it would not be considered an abnormally large vehicle.  Although a lot of focus has been on the type of vehicle, this was incidental to the main cause which was the signalman was mistaken about how close the train was, and that the crossing was much wider than normal taking extra time to cross, which the signalman had not taken account of.  Had it been a normal 44 tonner, Then the train would still have arrived at the crossing soon enough to constitute a near miss.

From the photo, the lorry and trailer seemed to be rather longer than normal, as well as heavier, which would have further added to crossing time.

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On 16/07/2019 at 09:05, Colin_McLeod said:

though I suppose "being stupid" is not a crime. 

 

If it were we would need a LOT more prisons :lol:

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More to the point who would actually decide the "guilty"? ;)

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33 minutes ago, Fat Controller said:

From the photo, the lorry and trailer seemed to be rather longer than normal, as well as heavier, which would have further added to crossing time.

 

Which is why I made the comment. Whilst the signaller also made assumptions/errors, the lorry was not the same as a normal artic and the operator should have also made that clear. Hopefully all sides will have learned from it, though I suspect only NR will have.

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39 minutes ago, Hobby said:

Whilst the signaller also made assumptions/errors

A problem that may get worse as larger and larger areas are handled by fewer and fewer signallers in remote Operating Centres. Local knowledge ends up being diminished.

 

Jim

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1 hour ago, jim.snowdon said:

A problem that may get worse as larger and larger areas are handled by fewer and fewer signallers in remote Operating Centres. Local knowledge ends up being diminished.

 

Jim

York will cover Kings Cross to Edinburgh. I'm sure that they'll know everything that is needed about crossings that carry large or slow loads crossing the railway. :lol:

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1 hour ago, Richard E said:

York will cover Kings Cross to Edinburgh. I'm sure that they'll know everything that is needed about crossings that carry large or slow loads crossing the railway. https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/emoticons/default_laugh.png

I presume that your tongue was firmly in your cheek.   In my opinion there is no substitute for local knowledge.

 

Jamie

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38 minutes ago, jamie92208 said:

I presume that your tongue was firmly in your cheek.   In my opinion there is no substitute for local knowledge.

 

Jamie

I would have thought the emoticon was a clue.

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