Report suggests ways to improve safety at rail crossing where 11-year-old died
Kharma Brown was hit by a train at pedestrian railway crossing in Ste. Anne, Man. September 15, 2017. (File image)
Published Monday, November 13, 2017 6:45PM CST
Last Updated Monday, November 13, 2017 7:18PM CST
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada has come up with options to improve safety at a Manitoba railway crossing where an 11-year-old girl on her bike was killed.
Kharma Brown was hit by a train at pedestrian railway crossing in Ste. Anne, Man. September 15, 2017.
The TSB report found while the crossing was regulation compliant as a pedestrian crossing, it was not designed for cyclists.
Based on the findings, the TSB said either Brown saw the train and didn’t allow enough time to cross, or she didn’t see it at all.
It said the train was travelling at 38 mph at the time of the collision, about 60 km/hr.
The report also found nearby bungalows and vegetation obstructed the view on the south end of the crossing, the same direction the report said Brown was travelling from when she was hit.
The TSB said if a person is on a bike, the person is moving faster than a person walking and needs to be able to see a train sooner.
Suggestions from the report to improve safety at the crossing include the installation of ‘maze barriers’ and ‘bollard pipes’ that would force cyclists to dismount, realigning and widening the crossing to improve vision in both directions, and automated, lights bells and gates.
“It may be prudent for the parties involved to fully re-evaluate the crossing design using a more appropriate design vehicle that may include cyclists,” said Manuel Kotchounian, TSB acting director of investigation operations, rail/pipeline.
The report also found the crossing created several unintended hazards, including a drop in the roadbed that creates a potential tripping hazard, a configuration that requires people to focus attention downward, and an abrupt approach to the track from north and south which provides a minimal opportunity to observe the track in each direction.
Ste. Anne mayor Richard Pelletier said the town plans to have a meeting to move forward on making changes to the crossing and ensure it’s for safe pedestrians and cyclists to cross in the future.
“It was a good plan when we made it, but there are better designs now,” he said.