More stupidity.

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by soup, Mar 17, 2005.

  1. soup

    soup Guest

    While I feel sorry for the girl concerned and her family it is hard to
    see what Railtrack (?) could do to make this crossing any safer
    have cycled across it many times ,in both directions and have
    never felt it was at all risky,mind you I do stop if the lights are
    flashing, barriers are coming down etc.

    Full story at :-
    http://edinburghnews.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=285742005&20050317093650
    or

    http://tinyurl.com/3nvcm
    --
    yours S

    Nihil curo de ista tua stulta superstitione
     
    Tags:


  2. Graham Dean

    Graham Dean Guest

    A truely sad and distressing story.

    Given that "The Kirknewton crossing has in the past been labelled the most
    notorious in Scotland due to the high instances of accidents and motorists
    jumping red lights." it does raise the question what else really does need
    to be done in addition to the *technical* safety measures - some mechanism
    for raising the social, cultural and emotional engagement in the risks
    concerned.

    Graham

    "soup" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > While I feel sorry for the girl concerned and her family it is hard to
    > see what Railtrack (?) could do to make this crossing any safer
    > have cycled across it many times ,in both directions and have
    > never felt it was at all risky,mind you I do stop if the lights are
    > flashing, barriers are coming down etc.
    >
    > Full story at :-
    > http://edinburghnews.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=285742005&20050317093650
    > or
    >
    > http://tinyurl.com/3nvcm
    > --
    > yours S
    >
    > Nihil curo de ista tua stulta superstitione
    >
    >
     
  3. Richard

    Richard Guest

    Graham Dean wrote:
    > A truely sad and distressing story.
    >
    > Given that "The Kirknewton crossing has in the past been labelled the most
    > notorious in Scotland due to the high instances of accidents and motorists
    > jumping red lights." it does raise the question what else really does need
    > to be done in addition to the *technical* safety measures - some mechanism
    > for raising the social, cultural and emotional engagement in the risks
    > concerned.


    Unfortunately, an incident like this often does just that.

    R.
     
  4. Graham Dean

    Graham Dean Guest

    Yep, sad and very true.

    I guess the message needs to be sustained in someway as well.

    Graham

    "Richard" <[email protected]> wrote in
    message news:[email protected]
    > Graham Dean wrote:
    > > A truely sad and distressing story.
    > >
    > > Given that "The Kirknewton crossing has in the past been labelled the

    most
    > > notorious in Scotland due to the high instances of accidents and

    motorists
    > > jumping red lights." it does raise the question what else really does

    need
    > > to be done in addition to the *technical* safety measures - some

    mechanism
    > > for raising the social, cultural and emotional engagement in the risks
    > > concerned.

    >
    > Unfortunately, an incident like this often does just that.
    >
    > R.
     
  5. On Thu, 17 Mar 2005 09:44:54 GMT, soup wrote:

    > While I feel sorry for the girl concerned and her family it is hard to
    > see what Railtrack (?) could do to make this crossing any safer


    They could build a bridge. Or an underpass. I understand that other
    countries have ongoing programmes to replace their level crossings. When I
    lived in Germany three local level crossings were replaced by bridges at
    considerable expense.

    --
    Michael MacClancy
     
  6. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Michael MacClancy wrote:

    > They could build a bridge. Or an underpass.


    But there again, if people are dumb enough to ignore red lights,
    physical barriers and audible alarms backed up with known incidences of
    death and mutilation to save several /whole seconds/, is a bridge
    ultimately going to help any further than the next right of way conflict
    where they can sacrifice safety for possibly a little time?

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
    Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
    net [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  7. Richard

    Richard Guest

    Michael MacClancy wrote:
    > On Thu, 17 Mar 2005 09:44:54 GMT, soup wrote:
    >
    >
    >> While I feel sorry for the girl concerned and her family it is hard to
    >>see what Railtrack (?) could do to make this crossing any safer

    >
    >
    > They could build a bridge. Or an underpass. I understand that other
    > countries have ongoing programmes to replace their level crossings. When I
    > lived in Germany three local level crossings were replaced by bridges at
    > considerable expense.


    Pedestrians wouldn't use it.

    In my (admittedly limited) data sample of one level crossing I used to
    cycle over twice a day, there was a pedestrian bridge right beside the
    crossing. In two years of daily commute, during which time I was
    reasonably frequently stopped at the crossing by trains, I never *ever*
    saw anyone walking over it; the pedestrians preferred to wait at the
    barrier for the train to pass. (It was an old SR lattice bridge, so no
    worries about dark concealed corners where unpleasant characters might
    lurk).

    R.
     
  8. JLB

    JLB Guest

    Peter Clinch wrote:
    > Michael MacClancy wrote:
    >
    >> They could build a bridge. Or an underpass.

    >
    >
    > But there again, if people are dumb enough to ignore red lights,
    > physical barriers and audible alarms backed up with known incidences of
    > death and mutilation to save several /whole seconds/, is a bridge
    > ultimately going to help any further than the next right of way conflict
    > where they can sacrifice safety for possibly a little time?


    I don't think anyone has a complete answer. It's not in human nature to
    always be careful, always follow instructions and so on. Teenagers are
    notoriously reckless with their own safety and welfare.

    Perhaps the monetary and social costs (loss of freedom and personal
    responsibility) of eliminating all such risks (if it's even possible -
    probaly not) are so high that it makes more sense to say the risks
    should be fixed at a level we can live with. Which means there will be
    some accidents/incidents; terrible for those involved, but it's
    inevitable for as long as there is risk.

    I also wonder if the effects of trying to control and manage other
    people's risk taking are almost inevitably cancelled out by the results
    of making people less wary. To take an example away from the ones
    usually done to death on urc, look at how the government tries to
    control and regulate savings and investments. People still get fleeced,
    sometimes they lose everything. I am far from convinced that the
    government's efforts do any good at all. It would be far cheaper and
    easier, and in my view equally effective, if the government said,
    "Personal finance is a private matter and it's your money. There are
    many people who would like to take your money off you. The world of
    finance is a dangerous place, be bloody careful, and if it all goes
    wrong don't come crying to us. You are on your own and don't forget it."

    --
    Joe * If I cannot be free I'll be cheap
     
  9. Stupidity it one of the biggest problems we face today. If we take
    warning signs away, the problem will eventually solve itself.

    The second biggest problem is apathy, but who cares?

    --
    Hywel
     
  10. bugbear

    bugbear Guest

    JLB wrote:
    > I also wonder if the effects of trying to control and manage other
    > people's risk taking are almost inevitably cancelled out by the results
    > of making people less wary.


    That's an interesting concept.
    We could call it "risk compensation"

    BugBear (trolling along)
     
  11. Clive George

    Clive George Guest

    "JLB" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]

    > I also wonder if the effects of trying to control and manage other
    > people's risk taking are almost inevitably cancelled out by the results
    > of making people less wary. To take an example away from the ones
    > usually done to death on urc, look at how the government tries to
    > control and regulate savings and investments. People still get fleeced,
    > sometimes they lose everything. I am far from convinced that the
    > government's efforts do any good at all. It would be far cheaper and
    > easier, and in my view equally effective, if the government said,
    > "Personal finance is a private matter and it's your money. There are
    > many people who would like to take your money off you. The world of
    > finance is a dangerous place, be bloody careful, and if it all goes
    > wrong don't come crying to us. You are on your own and don't forget it."


    If it was a private matter, then fair enough - but the govt are pushing all
    these things themselves, if possibly indirectly.

    cheers,
    clive
     
  12. David Hansen

    David Hansen Guest

    On Thu, 17 Mar 2005 10:35:28 +0000 someone who may be Michael
    MacClancy <[email protected]> wrote this:-

    >On Thu, 17 Mar 2005 09:44:54 GMT, soup wrote:
    >
    >> While I feel sorry for the girl concerned and her family it is hard to
    >> see what Railtrack (?) could do to make this crossing any safer


    Network Rail.

    >They could build a bridge. Or an underpass. I understand that other
    >countries have ongoing programmes to replace their level crossings. When I
    >lived in Germany three local level crossings were replaced by bridges at
    >considerable expense.


    There is one in the UK too. Indeed there are plans to do so at
    Kirknewton, but West Lothian Council has yet to put the funding in
    place. The last I heard the funding was going to be tied to a
    "development" near the crossing that will increase road traffic in
    the area.

    http://www.hse.gov.uk/railways/liveissues/levelcrossings.htm is your
    starting point to understand the issues. In my view 9 pedestrian
    fatalities at all level crossings in 2003/04 is not something to get
    too excited about.




    --
    David Hansen, Edinburgh | PGP email preferred-key number F566DA0E
    I will always explain revoked keys, unless the UK government
    prevents me by using the RIP Act 2000.
     
  13. David Hansen

    David Hansen Guest

    On 17 Mar 2005 03:51:08 -0800 someone who may be
    [email protected] wrote this:-

    >Stupidity it one of the biggest problems we face today. If we take
    >warning signs away, the problem will eventually solve itself.


    The photograph at the top of
    http://news.scotsman.com/topics.cfm?tid=139&id=1411842004 shows the
    signs the pedestrian will have passed in this case. The red lights
    will obviously have been flashing at the time. If the photograph is
    not of Kirknewton then it is of a very similar crossing.

    It appears that she got off one train and when that had passed over
    the crossing walked onto the line, to be struck by a train going the
    other way. In this situation when the first train has passed over
    the crossing the audible warning sounds a different and more urgent
    note specifically to warn pedestrians of the second train. It is
    difficult to see what more should be done to protect people from
    being the author of their own misfortune. There used to be a big
    illuminated sign where the top metal sign is in the photograph,
    though it was perhaps on the other side of the line. These had the
    words "ANOTHER TRAIN COMING" in red neon letters which flashed on
    and off. People ignored these as well.


    --
    David Hansen, Edinburgh | PGP email preferred-key number F566DA0E
    I will always explain revoked keys, unless the UK government
    prevents me by using the RIP Act 2000.
     
  14. On Thu, 17 Mar 2005 12:07:20 +0000, David Hansen wrote:


    >
    > http://www.hse.gov.uk/railways/liveissues/levelcrossings.htm is your
    > starting point to understand the issues. In my view 9 pedestrian
    > fatalities at all level crossings in 2003/04 is not something to get
    > too excited about.


    Thanks. That article says that 18 people were killed in 2003/4. (1 train
    driver, 9 pedestrians and 8 vehicle occupants.)

    Is that a figure to get excited about?
    --
    Michael MacClancy
     
  15. On Thu, 17 Mar 2005 12:07:20 +0000, David Hansen wrote:
    > On Thu, 17 Mar 2005 10:35:28 +0000 someone who may be Michael
    > MacClancy <[email protected]> wrote this:-
    >
    >>On Thu, 17 Mar 2005 09:44:54 GMT, soup wrote:
    >>
    >>> While I feel sorry for the girl concerned and her family it is hard to
    >>> see what Railtrack (?) could do to make this crossing any safer

    >
    > Network Rail.
    >
    >>They could build a bridge. Or an underpass. I understand that other
    >>countries have ongoing programmes to replace their level crossings. When I
    >>lived in Germany three local level crossings were replaced by bridges at
    >>considerable expense.

    >
    > There is one in the UK too. Indeed there are plans to do so at
    > Kirknewton, but West Lothian Council has yet to put the funding in
    > place. The last I heard the funding was going to be tied to a
    > "development" near the crossing that will increase road traffic in
    > the area.
    >
    > http://www.hse.gov.uk/railways/liveissues/levelcrossings.htm is your
    > starting point to understand the issues. In my view 9 pedestrian
    > fatalities at all level crossings in 2003/04 is not something to get
    > too excited about.


    Although considering the number of train/pedestrian interactions compared
    with car/cyclists interactions each year it's obviously far more
    dangerous than cycling - 10-15 times as many cyclists are killed
    each year but the number of interactions (cars passing bikes, etc)
    must be way way more than 10-15 times as many as trains passing
    pedestrians crossing the rails.

    I guess that makes cyclist deaths nothing to get too excited about,
    too, eh?


    --
    Trevor Barton
     
  16. Ian Smith

    Ian Smith Guest

    On Thu, 17 Mar 2005 11:16:22 +0000, JLB <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > I don't think anyone has a complete answer. It's not in human nature to
    > always be careful, always follow instructions and so on. Teenagers are
    > notoriously reckless with their own safety and welfare.


    I question your assesment of human nature.

    It might be this society's typical nature, but it's not necesarily
    universal human nature. I've had some (indirect) dealings with a
    high-speed-rail design produced by Japanese. They have a tendency to
    install astonishingly dangerous stuff on platforms with a sign saying
    "don't touch". When we query whether this ought to have a fence round
    it, or even a complete enclosure, the response sometimes tends towards
    "there's a sign telling no-one to touch it, so what's the point of
    goingh to teh expense of a fence (and consequent loss of useful
    platform space)?"

    Some societies manage better at following instructions.

    regards, Ian SMith
    --
    |\ /| no .sig
    |o o|
    |/ \|
     
  17. David Hansen

    David Hansen Guest

    On Thu, 17 Mar 2005 12:50:02 +0000 (UTC) someone who may be Ian
    Smith <[email protected]> wrote this:-

    >I question your assesment of human nature.
    >
    >It might be this society's typical nature, but it's not necesarily
    >universal human nature. I've had some (indirect) dealings with a
    >high-speed-rail design produced by Japanese. They have a tendency to
    >install astonishingly dangerous stuff on platforms with a sign saying
    >"don't touch".


    There are different parts of society too.

    If you enter the military estate then you will see things like
    electricity sub-stations with no fence around them, just a sign
    saying not to touch. All the equipment is enclosed, but that is the
    case with similar installations outside. Fences are only provided at
    married quarters, where children may well find the equipment
    irresistible.

    The main electricity intake at one large base is at 33,000V. There
    is a low fence around this, which one could easily climb over and
    make contact with the bare conductors. Outside there would be an
    "unclimbable" fence.


    --
    David Hansen, Edinburgh | PGP email preferred-key number F566DA0E
    I will always explain revoked keys, unless the UK government
    prevents me by using the RIP Act 2000.
     
  18. Richard

    Richard Guest

    David Hansen wrote:
    > On Thu, 17 Mar 2005 12:50:02 +0000 (UTC) someone who may be Ian
    > Smith <[email protected]> wrote this:-
    >
    >
    >>I question your assesment of human nature.
    >>
    >>It might be this society's typical nature, but it's not necesarily
    >>universal human nature. I've had some (indirect) dealings with a
    >>high-speed-rail design produced by Japanese. They have a tendency to
    >>install astonishingly dangerous stuff on platforms with a sign saying
    >>"don't touch".

    >
    >
    > There are different parts of society too.
    >
    > If you enter the military estate then you will see things like
    > electricity sub-stations with no fence around them, just a sign
    > saying not to touch. All the equipment is enclosed, but that is the
    > case with similar installations outside. Fences are only provided at
    > married quarters, where children may well find the equipment
    > irresistible.


    Some children are not as daft as people think. I was walking past a
    farm in the depths of the Lake District; there was a small
    substation/transformer unit there, behind a low stone wall which had a
    "Danger of Death" sign on the gate. The small child I was accompanying
    (not mine) turned to me and said seriously, "Don't go in there. The
    electricity will kill you dead." He was all of five at the time.

    R.
     
  19. David Hansen

    David Hansen Guest

    On 17 Mar 2005 12:34:02 GMT someone who may be Trevor Barton
    <[email protected]> wrote this:-

    >Although considering the number of train/pedestrian interactions compared
    >with car/cyclists interactions each year it's obviously far more
    >dangerous than cycling


    It would be more illuminating to compare train/cyle interactions
    with car/cycle interactions and train/pedestrian interactions with
    car/pedestrian interactions. One should do this at road/road level
    crossings and rail/road level crossings on public roads, to ensure
    one is making a reasonable comparison.

    From such comparisons one might conclude that there is merit in
    having all extra warning equipment at rail/road level crossings (or
    severe limitations on the speed of trains), but that extra money
    would best be spent on the road/road level crossings because that
    would have the greatest benefits.

    >I guess that makes cyclist deaths nothing to get too excited about,
    >too, eh?


    That rather depends on whether the cyclist was the author of their
    own misfortune or not.


    --
    David Hansen, Edinburgh | PGP email preferred-key number F566DA0E
    I will always explain revoked keys, unless the UK government
    prevents me by using the RIP Act 2000.
     
  20. David Hansen

    David Hansen Guest

    On Thu, 17 Mar 2005 12:31:32 +0000 someone who may be Michael
    MacClancy <[email protected]> wrote this:-

    >Thanks. That article says that 18 people were killed in 2003/4. (1 train
    >driver, 9 pedestrians and 8 vehicle occupants.)
    >
    >Is that a figure to get excited about?


    One is looking at two systems with grossly different attitudes to
    safety. If 3000 people died on the railways every year there would
    be uproar.


    --
    David Hansen, Edinburgh | PGP email preferred-key number F566DA0E
    I will always explain revoked keys, unless the UK government
    prevents me by using the RIP Act 2000.
     
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