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Level crossing stupidity...


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2 hours ago, martin_wynne said:

 

And how much simpler and safer would it be if the gate was set back a typical vehicle length from the track?

 

You could then get through and close the first gate, check for a green light on the opposite side, drive across, get through and close the second gate. No walking to and fro, no risk of stopping on the tracks.

 

Martin.

Surely the idea is to avoid getting a vehicle (of any size) trapped between the gate and running line. 

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3 hours ago, martin_wynne said:

And how much simpler and safer would it be if the gate was set back a typical vehicle length from the track?

Fine if your vehicle is below the 'typical' length - but these crossings are often used by tractor-and-God-only-knows-what combinations ....... which are typically somewhat longer than a typical vehicle.

 

Anyway, how much extra technology would it take to add an audible warning to the red light phase ?

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2 hours ago, Wickham Green too said:

Anyway, how much extra technology would it take to add an audible warning to the red light phase ?

Not much, just turn your speaker on when watching the video. ;)

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11 hours ago, martin_wynne said:

 

Sigh. I said "typical" vehicle length. Say anything with 4 wheels. Anyone driving a long vehicle would know that they can't fit between the gate and the track.

 

So a different set of instructions required for 'less than standard' length and 'over standard length'.

Part of the problem with level crossings as you have often pointed out, is unclear instructions!

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5 hours ago, Grovenor said:

Not much, just turn your speaker on when watching the video. ;)

Assuming everyone has speakers! I do, but I know someone who won't buy some.

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6 hours ago, 96701 said:

All crossings require the driver to open both gates before crossing, so yes it does involve more crossings, but it doesn't leave a vehicle on the crossing.

 

As the sign said in the video on the previous page clearly showed, just the van driver being lazy and nearly getting caught out.

 

 

Corneleouslundie, I recon the person video-ing it was a walker who just happened to be there, not sure if they expected to record an idiot when the started to film it, though!

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16 hours ago, corneliuslundie said:

the driver might have assumed that once the gate had been opened it would keep the railway signals at red

 

I think you are crediting such people with far too much rational cognitive ability.  It probably never even occurs to them that the train cannot stop if the crossing is blocked, let alone that there might be signalling infrastructure which could alert the driver to the presence of a vehicle on the crossing (which there isn't anyway).

 

I think that providing step-by-step instructions to explain the procedure (as summarised by kevinlms above) would be no use at all: they'd be too long and no-one would read them.  What might help would be a clear, no-punches-pulled explanation as to why you need to be bl00dy careful using such a crossing.  Something along the lines of:

 

Quote

When the red light is flashing and siren is sounding this means that a train is approaching the level crossing and it will not be able to stop.  The light and siren can start at any time so you must not leave your vehicle between the gates at any point while using the level crossing.

 

I think the underlying problem is that, despite numerous publicity campaigns, far too many people really don't appreciate the risks involved in crossing railway tracks*.  Maybe it needs something like the "danger of death" signs that are posted all over electricity distribution infrastructure to hammer the point home.

 

16 hours ago, corneliuslundie said:

What was not clear to me from the video was whether the first gate he came to was already open.

 

I believe it's just possible to discern the van driver getting out to open the gate at the very beginning of the video.

 

* I never feel particularly comfortable crossing railway tracks, whether in a vehicle or on foot, no matter what kind of line I'm crossing.  I remember looking carefully both ways three times before crossing the Kyle of Lochalsch line at Achnashellach on foot, even though (a) I knew that the service on that line is not at all frequent and (b) I'd just seen a train pass by on the single line, so there couldn't be one coming the other way!  And some of the crossings on the ECML give me the wig: I know the risk of a wrong-side failure is vanishingly small but those trains are big, heavy and fast, which is an awful lot of kinetic energy I'd rather not have any kind of close encounter with.

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5 hours ago, kevinlms said:

So a different set of instructions required for 'less than standard' length and 'over standard length'.

Part of the problem with level crossings as you have often pointed out, is unclear instructions!

 Not quoting in particular Kevin, so take a fence...:)

 

But, surely these individuals who do not understand, or get confused over instructions...actually hold a Driving Licence?

If they do, the State expects a certain level of competence in order to retain that Licence. This 'competence'  is not limited to conducting  a motorised vehicle safely, on the Public Highway, or being able to interact safely with other road users. 

Unfortunately this aspect is not really enforced [enough]....  :(

 

Indeed, the Driving Licence is relegated to the status of a mere travel pass.

 

Or, ignored altogether!

 

 

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I don't think that being dyslexic, for example, precludes you from obtaining a driving licence (or there would be fewer drivers) but it may well make it difficult for you to understand written instructions.  Quite what can be done about such things at this stage is another question.

I have often said that if the motorised road vehicle had been invented first in the 21st century it would never have ben permitted on the roads.

Off topic but BTW I only became aware recently that the first big impetus for improving road surfaces at the end of the 19th century was increased use of bicycles.

Jonathan

Edited by corneliuslundie
typo
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18 hours ago, martin_wynne said:

 

And how much simpler and safer would it be if the gate was set back a typical vehicle length from the track?

 

Most of these crossings are private roads serving farms - a typical vehicle is a tractor with a very long trailer.  That means both gates would be at some distance from the line - and not on railway land.  In some cases there will be a road junction within that space.

 

In theory the farmer (and his servants) are often the only ones authorised to use the crossing.  Attempts have been made in the past to educate farmers and farm hands in the past.  In practice of course, the postman, the dustman and white van man all have legitimate business at the farm and also come regularly.

Edited by Michael Hodgson
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1 hour ago, corneliuslundie said:

I don't think that being dyslexic, for example, precludes you from obtaining a driving licence (or there would be fewer drivers) but it may well make it difficult for you to understand written instructionsQuite what can be done about such things at this stage is another question.

 

In this case a phone was provided...

Edited by Hobby
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2 hours ago, Michael Hodgson said:

 

Most of these crossings are private roads serving farms - a typical vehicle is a tractor with a very long trailer.  That means both gates would be at some distance from the line - and not on railway land.  In some cases there will be a road junction within that space.

 

In theory the farmer (and his servants) are often the only ones authorised to use the crossing.  Attempts have been made in the past to educate farmers and farm hands in the past.  In practice of course, the postman, the dustman and white van man all have legitimate business at the farm and also come regularly.

I think that you may be confusing a road vehicle crossing with an Occupation Crossing. Some road vehicle crossings are associated with one private dwelling and may well have a lock fitted which the people in the dwelling have access to. This is much easier to control than a User Worked Crossing which is open for the public to use (as in this case).

 

An Occupation Crossing is on private land and usually connects 2 field together, and is the sole responsibility of the farmer, however they may well employ contractors during things like harvesting, in which case the farmer must train the contractors on the correct operation of the crossing.

 

Each crossing that relies on sighting alone must have a "decision point" which can be in different places for different users at the same crossing.

 

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1 hour ago, kevinlms said:

With a set of instructions for using a phone?

Instructions for using the 'phone are visible to the user when the door is opened. 

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7 hours ago, corneliuslundie said:

Off topic but BTW I only became aware recently that the first big impetus for improving road surfaces at the end of the 19th century was increased use of bicycles.

 Now, it's Audis...

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1 hour ago, johnofwessex said:

 

 

1. Why was it thought necessary to blur the number plate?

2. I hope the BTP have the footage 

Because it was a stolen vehicle, and really not fair on the owners (if they get the vehicle back).

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 17/07/2021 at 16:45, LMS2968 said:

Could you tell us what a vehicle length is, please? Are we talking about a motor bike or a 44T tri axle artic and trailer?

Tri-axle artics are not allowed to tow a trailer in the UK.

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Strange, several passed me on the M65 today. with three axles on the unit and another three on the trailer.

 

We're talking three axles on the unit, including the front axle, not one at the front and three at the back.

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