A SPAD is committed when someone crosses a Danger (red) signal, hence the name. SPADers tend to do this when they either are distracted or when they are going at full speed past a Caution (yellow) signal, or just attempting to skip a station when a signaller is on duty.
The game is designed to detect a SPAD and apply the offending train's emergency brake for twenty seconds. If too many signals are passed at danger, the train will automatically be deleted and the service will be terminated, so they cannot complete their route. This prevents the offender from gaining experience points. If a SPAD incident occurs during a Qualified Driver training, the trainee will automatically fail, and a player could potentially receive a demotion for SPADing repeatedly or intentionally.
Also, when a Signaller or a High Rank is in the game server, they may respawn trains that are driving poorly. People who keep SPADing and creating a major traffic disruption may be kicked out of the game server.
Users who SPAD typically show other signs of poor driving. Other signs of poor driving include skipping stations, going at max speed on a crowded line, speeding, or not paying attention to one’s surroundings. Keep in mind, though, that experienced drivers also SPAD every once in a while - often at the WaterLine crossover outside Benton, where Connect drivers cannot see WaterLine trains coming around the blind curve to and from Port Benton.
A SPAR (abbreviated from Signal Passed At Red) is similar to a SPAD, but it is not the driver’s fault. A signaller SPAR is when a signaller causes a SPAR, either due to a mistake or a signaller trolling. A technical SPAR is when a glitch causes a SPAR to occur, and a runaway SPAR is when a runaway train passes a signal at red.
For a SG to SPAR especially to troll is incredibly rare as SG's are intended to do their job at the highest of standards.
Real Life SPADs
Accidents and Incidents involving SPADs in real life
- Sometimes SPADs occur even though a train's front wheels haven't even touched the treadle and the front of the train is multiple studs behind the signal.
- SPADs can also occur when a laggy driver passes a green or yellow signal with the train passing and then being stopped by an emergency brake when the signal automatically turns red.