What employees do today because of their experience yesterday: Previous exposure to yellow:number aspects as a cause for SPAD incidents

Julia Burggraaf*, Jop Groeneweg, Simone Sillem, Pieter van Gelder

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

When a train passes a red aspect, this is called a Signal Passed at Danger event or SPAD. Sometimes it is easy to identify the SPAD cause but in other cases it is unclear why the incident occurred, especially if the system operated as usual and the train driver was trained and experienced just like his or her colleagues. In previous research, train driver deceleration behaviour has been shown to be influenced by frequent exposure in the previous 14 days to less restrictive and visually similar signal aspects in the same location. Previous exposure can contribute to SPAD causation unless the initial insufficient deceleration is corrected in time. Six years of SPAD data and red aspect approaches in the Netherlands was used to test whether previous exposure to yellow:number aspects corresponds with a statistically significant increase in SPAD incidents if there is a small window for correction available to drivers. The permitted track speed and signal distance influence the size of this window. The results provide evidence for previous exposure as a cause for SPADs and details to identify locations with increased SPAD probability. Changes in infrastructure and timetable design or adding safety measures for these locations can prevent future SPADs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100332
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Rail Transport Planning and Management
Volume23
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • Human factors
  • Incidental learning
  • Rail safety
  • Signal
  • SPAD
  • Train driver

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