Pedestrian and bicyclist violations at highway-rail grade crossings

Aemal Khattak, Zheng Luo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Each year numerous pedestrian and bicyclist crashes involving high injury levels are reported at highway-rail grade crossings (HRGCs) across the United States. Such crashes are invariably the result of errors on the part of the pedestrians and bicyclists. The focus of this paper is to investigate pedestrian and bicyclist violations at a dual-quadrant gated HRGC and to report on four types of gate violations, including factors associated with those violations. For both pedestrians and bicyclists, the violations studied were (a) passing under descending gates, (b) passing around fully lowered gates, (c) passing under ascending gates, and (d) passing around fully lowered gates between successive trains. Data on pedestrian and bicyclist violations were collected at a grade crossing in Nebraska through the use of video surveillance. Analysis indicated that there were no significant differences in the mean frequencies of pedestrian and bicyclist violations at HRGCs. When data for pedestrians and bicyclists were pooled, 1.27 gate-related violations were recorded per crossing event. Children of around 8 years of age or younger were involved in 25% more gate-related violations than older crossing users (pedestrians and bicyclists). Violations increased with the presence of more individuals at the crossing during train crossing events, but the contribution from young children was greater than that from older crossing users. The implications of the findings for HRGC safety are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)76-82
Number of pages7
JournalTransportation Research Record
Issue number2250
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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