ILCAD 2014 – the International Level Crossing Awareness Day

Press release
Paris, 2 June 2014

6th edition of ILCAD, the International Level Crossing Awareness Day Press conference and round table, 3 June 2014, Lisbon, Portugal

There are international days dedicated to health and road safety – in particular the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims instituted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2005  – but have you heard of the International Level Crossing Awareness Day (ILCAD) coordinated by UIC since 2009?

This campaign brings together road and rail safety experts. It was created on the basis of other awareness campaigns that already existed in a number of countries such as the United States,Canada, Australia and New Zealand as well as several countries in Europe. These countriessimply wished to consolidate their efforts and celebrate their achievements during the course ofone day. This awareness day has been increasingly successful each year and attracts morecountries each time (45 last year). The new entrants in 2014 are Russian Railways (RZD) and Vietnam Railways (VNR).

On 3 June, UIC and key partners are organising the 6th edition of ILCAD focusing on educational measures and the promotion of safe behaviour at and around level crossings and in the immediate vicinity. In addition to the activities regularly organised throughout the year, a range of national events focusing on the joint ILCAD message of “Act safely at level crossings!” will be held across all continents.

On 3 June from 14:00 – 19:00, a joint international press conference and round table will be held by UIC and REFER, the Portuguese railway infrastructure manager, in Lisbon, to highlight the importance of road safety at level crossings.

The main message conveyed through posters developed by UIC at this 2014 event will focus on professional drivers. UIC particularly wishes to acknowledge the excellent cooperation with the International Road Transport Union (IRU), whose aim is to raise awareness among professionals in the road transport industry (see UIC press release N°21/2014).

UIC also wishes to announce the release of the documentary film co-financed by UIC, UNECE and the Federal Office of Transport of the Swiss Confederation (OFT/FOT/BAV) The film provides a non-exhaustive picture of safety at level crossings around the world with the aim of raising further awareness among political decision-makers and the public of the current risks at level crossings.

The film will be used by ILCAD partners during press conferences, information and awareness sessions aimed at the public and staff, and will subsequently be broadcast in Lisbon. Click here for a preview of the film: or

Finally UIC is pleased to have actively contributed to the creation of an international group of experts in the area of level crossing safety under the auspices of UNECE, which has held two meetings in 2014:

Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, Director General of UIC, says that “UIC is pleased to have coordinated ILCAD for six years now, a unique international event in terms of public awareness about the risks related to the road/rail interface; a campaign which brings together so many countries and partners from across the world from all different sectors. We thank all the participating countries, REFER and prominent speakers from the rail, road and institutional sectors; from Belgium, Estonia, France, Italy, Poland, Portugal, the United Kingdom and Switzerland who will join UIC to make this event a success.”


Tamo Vahemets
Operation Lifesaver Estonia
juhatuse esimees – tegevjuht

Täiendav info:
UIC, International Union of Railways
16 rue Jean Rey; F-75015 PARIS
Tel: + 33 1 44 49 20 91; + 33 1 44 49 20 52 ; + 33 1 44 49 21 33

Did you know?

  • UIC estimates that there are over 600,000 level crossings (LC) in the world.
  • According to 2012 figures published in the European Railway Agency (ERA) safety performance report 2014:
  • 114,000 Level Crossings (LC) in the EU.
  • 2% decrease in the number of LC in the EU over the last five years.
  • On average one person is killed and almost one person is seriously injured at LC in the EU each day.
  • 573 significant accidents resulting in 369 fatalities and 339 people seriously injured.
  • The number of fatalities represents 29% of all accidental deaths in the railways against 1% of road fatalities – which is considered a minor problem for the road sector but a huge problem for the railways. 1% of road-user fatalities at LC is 1% too many, which is why road and rail are working together.
  • Almost all accidents at LC (at least in Europe) are caused by errors or deliberate misuse of road users and pedestrians who do not respect traffic signs and signals. These people usually live and work near LC.
  • These collisions can cause derailment, death or serious injury to railway staff and train passengers, result in post-traumatic stress and long, costly and awkward delays for road and rail users, as well as expensive damage to infrastructure and rolling stock.
  • A train travelling at 90 km/h takes up to 1200 m to stop, depending on the weight of the train, while a car travelling at 100 km/h takes up to 80 m to stop.
  • A train can weigh between 130 to 6000 tonnes, depending on the type of train and the country (the average weight of a car in Europe is over 1 tonne).
  • Using a level crossing is safe as long as users respect the Highway Code and traffic signals in effect.
  • Did you know that various countries have applied sanctions at level crossings in cases where signs are not observed? These include traffic light and speed cameras as well as surveillance cameras.

Note to Editors:

The ILCAD initiative has been coordinated by the International Union of Railways since 2009 with the support of the global railway community (CER, EIM), and organisations such as the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) and Operation Lifesaver, in order to make road users aware of the risks at level crossings.