The railway safety campaign “Take off your headphones and let the train pass!“ reminds people that wearing headphones while crossing railways makes you considerably less attentive to what is happening around you.
The nation-wide railway safety week will be held in Estonia on April 27 – May 3, 2015 with the message “Take off your headphones and let the train pass!“ One of the objectives of the campaign is to launch a discussion about the dangers related to wearing headphones in traffic.
The campaign is organised by the non-profit organisation Operation Lifesaver Estonia in cooperation with the Estonian Technical Surveillance Authority, the Police and Border Guard Board, the Road Administration and the Rescue Board.
“Wearing headphones in traffic has become as usual and routine as spending time in the social media“, explained Tamo Vahemets, Chairman of Operation Lifesaver Estonia (OLE). ”The people listening to music and wearing headphones on the street place themselves into a bubble – they lose their ability to notice the people and environment around them. The precondition for crossing railway safely is being present with all your senses.”
“The purpose of our campaign is to launch in the society a discussion about the risks related to wearing headphones. Today, it is natural for the motor vehicle users to fasten seatbelts while riding in a car. They know that this minimises their risks in the event of a possible collision. The people wearing headphones behave in the opposite manner. While listening to the music on streets, they lose their ability to notice other road users. They do not hear trains’ sound signals, not to mention the verbal warnings given by other people“, explained Vahemets. “The locomotive drivers cannot stop quickly or change the train route. They give sound signals but they may not reach the people listening to loud music“.
Anvar Salomets, Deputy Director General of the Technical Surveillance Authority said that the cause of railway accidents continues to be negligence and violation of traffic regulation. ”The number of people hit by trains has been worryingly large in the recent years and the main reason for that has been negligence. The majority of the accidents occurred because people did not notice trains due to some disturbing factors – listening to music through headphones, talking on phone or crossing railway on bike. Dangerous situations on railways cannot be prevented as long as the road users do not recognise that railways are safe only if people are attentive and careful.”
During the tenth Railway Safety Week, campaign posters are displayed in Estonian towns, safety commercials are played in shopping malls and public transport vehicles, and railway safety presentations will be organised in schools.
The key event of the Railway Safety Week is the gratitude event organised on April 29 where Hanno Pevkur, the Minister of Interior of Estonia, recognises the persons and organisations dealing with promoting railway safety. The “Golden Level Crossing Gates” award will be presented to the most valuable supporter of volunteer railway safety activities in 2014.
Chairman of Management Board – CEO of OLE
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