Trafiksäkerhet i plankorsningar mellan väg och järnväg 1999-2004

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Hans-Åke Cedersund

For many years, Banverket (Swedish rail administration) has done a lot of work to improve traffic safety at grade crossings between road and rail. The most dangerous, and worst controlled, grade crossings have been systematically upgraded or quite simply removed. In 25 years, 2 out of 3 grade crossings have disappeared. 75% of all grade crossings which were uncontrolled in the 1970s have been given new forms of control or dismantled. The number of accidents has decreased by 70%.

The number of accidents on the rail network has radically decreased in the past 50 years. In the 1950s there were 150 accidents at grade crossings every year, in the 1970s about 100, and at the turn of the century about 30, in a continual downward trend. This applies to accidents as a whole, to a large extent due to the disappearance of so many grade crossings, but the number of accidents has also decreased for the comparable grade crossing types. Traffic safety has also radically improved for comparable grade crossings. This can be seen in concrete terms when a study is made of the accident rate, i.e. the number of accidents divided by the traffic load on road and railway (annual basis):

  • fully skirted barrier: 0.20 (1973-77 0.53)
  • half barrier: 0.27 (1973-77 1.10)
  • acoustic/light signal: 9.01 (1973-77 10.41)
  • crossed bar signs: 23.06 (1973-77 34.31).

The above does not compare like with like. Grade crossings now are completely different from those in the 1970s, even though the external form of control is the same.

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