WIT Press

The Cost Benefit Analysis Of Level Crossing Safety Measures


Free (open access)





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851 - 862




443 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


R. Ben Aoun, E.-M. El Koursi & E. Lemaire


Even though the general safety level of rail transport is quite satisfactory compared to road transport, a problem still persists, that of level crossings (LCs). The fact is that road users’ behavior plays a large part in accidents where most of them do not occur following a failure of the railway system but are due to individuals’ behavior. Knowing this, the Rail Optimization Safety Analysis (ROSA) project intends to identify several safety measures through a cost benefit analysis (CBA) in order to enhance the safety level at LCs on the French and German railway systems. The choice of leading a CBA is not random. Indeed, it allows comparisons between all the possible alternatives to aid the decision makers to be able to invest in the most profitable safety measure. However, it is very difficult to include all the effects of all the possible safety options. This is why the results have to be interpreted with caution. Keywords: cost benefit analysis, safety measure, railway, level crossing, LC. 1 Introduction A cost benefit analysis (CBA) aspires to estimate the profitability of a project from the whole community point of view by quantifying the willingness-to-pay or the willingness-to-accept. The willingness-to-pay – or the willingness-toaccept – is the stated amount that an individual is willing to pay – or to accept – in compensation for a loss or a diminution of its utility. For instance, the willingness-to-pay for human life informs society about the importance that the governments grant for human life (e.g. Bellavance et al. [3]). In general, a CBA takes place in four stages: i) the qualitative and quantitative assessment, ii) the identification of all the possible effects for all the foreseen options and from the point of view of different groups of concerned individuals, iii) the monetary


cost benefit analysis, safety measure, railway, level crossing, LC