Mid-America Transportation Center


Date of this Version


Document Type



Report # MATC-UNL: 225 Final Report 25-1121-0001-225


Copyright 2012 Mid-America Transportation Center


Safety at highway-rail grade crossings (HRGC) is a major concern for different agencies because increasing highway and rail traffic presents a greater risk of crashes at these locations. In 2008, there were 2,391 crashes and 523 fatalities reported at grade crossings across the U.S. Of these, 187 crashes were reported in Nebraska, including 35 involving trucks with trailers and 10 involving trucks only. At gated crossings, gate-related violations by truck drivers are a primary cause of collisions between trains and trucks. The objectives of this research were to report on the frequency and type of gate violations by truck drivers at dual quadrant gated HRGCs in Nebraska, and to empirically identify factors that may be associated with those gate violations. Data on gate violations by truck drivers during train crossing events were collected at two HRGCs in Nebraska. Analysis of the data showed that the most frequent violations by truck drivers were passing under ascending gates, followed by drivers passing under descending gates. Violations increased with greater truck traffic at the HRGCs and with longer times between the onset of flashing lights and train arrivals. Analysis also showed nighttime to be associated with a greater frequency of gate violations by truck drivers. The main recommendation for reducing gate violations is to reduce excessively long time intervals between the onset of flashing lights and train arrivals at HRGCs. Recommendations for future research are provided in the report.