Loud and clear? Train horn practice at railway level crossings in Australia

Larue, Gregoire S. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8564-9084 and Dehkordi, Sepehr G. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9454-2243 and Watling, Christopher N. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1440-2401 and Naweed, Anjum (2021) Loud and clear? Train horn practice at railway level crossings in Australia. Applied Ergonomics, 95:103433. pp. 1-10. ISSN 0003-6870

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The road environment has changed markedly over the years. Train horns are ostensibly used to alert road users and are typically mandatory on approach to railway level crossings. However, they have increasingly been seen as a nuisance. Beyond their negative aspects, a study has yet to comprehensively evaluate train horn effectiveness and understand if they remain beneficial and relevant in the contemporary environment. Hence, this study aimed to provide evidence on the actual use of train horns. Field observations were conducted at 54 railway crossings across four Australian States. The effects of level crossing type, location, and environmental conditions were investigated in relation to train horn loudness as objectively measured at the crossing. Results revealed that train horns were not always used, presenting an issue for passive level crossings. However, when sounded, train horn use was redundant and insufficiently loud at level crossings equipped with bells. Taken together, current train horn practice was found to be highly variable and dependent on crossing type, remoteness, and individual train drivers, thus resulting in inconsistent warnings and raising important implications for standardisation.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2022 22:49
Last Modified: 30 Mar 2022 05:17
Uncontrolled Keywords: Rail; Road; Safety; Noise; Loudness; Crossing; Standards
Fields of Research (2008): 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1702 Cognitive Sciences > 170202 Decision Making
15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1507 Transportation and Freight Services > 150702 Rail Transportation and Freight Services
Fields of Research (2020): 52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5204 Cognitive and computational psychology > 520402 Decision making
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4206 Public health > 420604 Injury prevention
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4206 Public health > 420699 Public health not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 92 Health > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920401 Behaviour and Health
C Society > 92 Health > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920409 Injury Control
E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 27 TRANSPORT > 2703 Ground transport > 270311 Road safety
27 TRANSPORT > 2703 Ground transport > 270306 Rail safety
27 TRANSPORT > 2703 Ground transport > 270312 Urban rail infrastructure and networks (incl. light and metro rail)
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apergo.2021.103433
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/46471

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