First application of SEA technology helps to improve safety on level crossings

Published 15th December 2016

Cohort plc company SEA has secured its first application with Network Rail for the use of its state-of-the-art ROADflow technology aimed at improving safety at the highest risk level crossings.

RLSE (Red Light Safety Equipment) is a national scheme being delivered by Network Rail targeting safety improvements and risk reduction at the nation’s highest risk road/rail crossings.

The ROADflow Signal system developed by SEA is a UK Home Office approved traffic enforcement device that deploys advanced image analytics technology to improve public safety at railway crossings. It identifies road vehicles that fail to comply with the ‘wig wag‘ stop signals and then continue to cross after the red lights start flashing. The technology is non-intrusive, and with no connection to either railway signalling or installation of road based sensors, significantly reduces installation time and costs.

Integrated advanced video analytics are used to detect the flashing red lights coupled with complex optical vehicle tracking to determine absolute position on the road that enables high quality photographic evidence to be digitally transmitted to a national office for processing, resulting in efficient and robust prosecutions.

Following a new collaborative procedure agreed between the British Transport Police and Network Rail, the new system installed at the White Hart Lane level crossing in Richmond provides enforceable evidence that can be used to directly prosecute drivers who fail to comply with the stop signals contrary to the Road Traffic Act 1988.

The White Hart Lane crossing is regarded as a sensitive hotspot, with Network Rail’s assessment indicating that there are currently between 20-30 incidents of misuse at the crossing each day, resulting in enforceable offences being pursued.

Mark O’Flynn, Level Crossing Manager at Network Rail, said:

“White Hart Lane level crossing is a notorious hotspot for drivers risking their lives. Drivers jumping the barriers are no joke and it puts lives in danger; not only those in the car, but also nearby pedestrians and train passengers. We want these cameras to act as a deterrent to this kind of reckless behaviour in the first place. It also gives us the direct ability to follow up prosecutions against those people who are continuing to offend.”

SEA Managing Director Steve Hill, said:

“We are really pleased that our ROADflow technology is playing such a crucial role in reducing accidents on our railway lines. It is a very impressive and versatile system and we believe there are many other applications where this same technology can improve safety on our roads and highways.”

Incidents at level crossings are a major concern to local authorities across the country with motorists continuing to drive across Britain’s increasingly busy railtracks even after the ‘wig wag’ stop lights have been activated.

Richmond Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Streetscene, Cllr Stephen Speak, said:

“Local residents have long been concerned about safety at this level crossing and we therefore welcome the deployment of these new enforcement cameras. The council has been working closely with Network Rail to improve safety at this crossing. This is a significant step and we look forward to continuing this work.”