WINNIPEG, March 26, 2014 /CNW/ - Citing concerns that the risk of
accidents at passive public railway crossings will continue in the
absence of advance warning systems, the Transportation Safety Board of
Canada (TSB) today released its investigation report (R12W0182) into a
fatal crossing accident in Broadview, Saskatchewan.
At 1835 Central Standard Time on 9 August 2012, a Canadian Pacific
Railway freight train 205-09 was proceeding westward at 53 mph when it
struck a southbound camper van at a passive public crossing, equipped
only with standard reflectorized railway crossing signs (SRCS), near
Broadview, Saskatchewan. As a result of the collision, the camper van
was destroyed, 4 of the 6 vehicle occupants were fatally injured, the
novice driver was seriously injured, and the supervising driver
sustained minor injuries. The train crew was not injured, and the
locomotive sustained minor damage.
The investigation determined that the train approached the crossing from
the east with the locomotive headlights, ditch lights and horn all
activated as required. The train and van approached the crossing on
roughly parallel, albeit opposing, paths. Vegetation along the railway
right-of-way limited the view of the van from the train crew and the
train from the vehicle occupants. The collision occurred when the
westbound van turned south onto Airport Road, approached the crossing,
proceeded into the path of the train, and was struck broadside. A
partially obstructed view, the position of the sun, the vehicle
characteristics, the driver's limited experience with the risks
associated in negotiating a passive public crossing protected solely by
SRCS, and the fatigued state of the supervising driver likely
contributed to the accident.
Over the last 10 years in Canada, there have been 658 accidents
involving vehicles at passive public crossings, which resulted in 59
fatalities and 107 serious injuries. While the crossing was not
equipped with a stop sign, studies have demonstrated that stop signs do
not always provide an effective defence because compliance is subject
to frequent enforcement. Research indicates that a key to improving
safety is to equip these crossings with lower-cost advance active
warning devices, such as those using GPS, magnetic flux and radar to
detect approaching trains, in order to attract driver attention and
provide them with advance warning of the need to stop.
Considering the serious consequences that can result from a crossing
accident, and the technological advancements that have been made, the
Board is concerned that, in the absence of timely implementation of
low-cost alert systems, the risk of accidents at passive crossings will
The TSB is an independent agency that investigates marine, pipeline,
railway and aviation transportation occurrences. Its sole aim is the
advancement of transportation safety. It is not the function of the
Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.
SOURCE: Transportation Safety Board of Canada
For further information:
Transportation Safety Board of Canada
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