Contrary to the declining railroad-highway crossing crashes over the past decade, the pedestrian-railroad interface has remained relatively unchanged. While engineering solutions and law enforcement have been tried, little is known about their effectiveness on the pedestrian mindset and psychology.
One of the main reason for crashes of this type is that pedestrians tend to be restless while waiting at railroad crossings. This can lead to pedestrians performing irrational acts such as attempting to walk across a crossing before a train arrives. Earlier, trains traveled at slower speeds which pedestrians could react to easily and trains had less freight so it needed less braking distance and thus it was easier to control them. There are many factors with the potential to improve pedestrian safety at railroad crossings.
In this paper the current safety norms for railroad crossings existing across in more than 40 major cities in US were analyzed to determine the existing safety standards for pedestrians at railroad grade crossings. State departments of transportation (DOTs) were contacted, along with professionals in public and private sector involved in safety at railroad crossing and ask them what according to them is a high risk railroad grade crossings in their area, safety practices that are common in their area, various threats to Safety implementation and then analyze these crossing for the types, safety signs and equipment present at them.