PRESS RELEASE! The railway safety campaign Let the train pass! You’re expected home for Christmas.

PRESS RELEASE! The railway safety campaign Let the train pass! You’re expected home for Christmas.

On Monday 05 December, the traditional railway safety campaign Let the train pass! You are expected home for Christmas, will start, which aims to remind people of the need to be very attentive when crossing the railway during the busy pre-holiday season. The railway safety campaign runs until December 25th.

The Christmas month is a lot busier than usual and people are often distracted. Railway undertakings therefore remind people in traffic that, when crossing a railway, all attention must be focused on safe crossing.

11 months of this year have meant five sad occasions when a family has found that a loved one leaving the house with a smile has lost their life on the railway. “For family and friends, their safe world collapses because a family member did not pay enough attention to safety when crossing the railway.” Tamo Vahemets, Chairman of the Management Board of Operation Lifesaver Estonia (OLE), which deals with railway safety in Estonia, said: “Before crossing the railway, all our attention must be focused on the biggest source of danger – paying attention to the train.  Crossing the railway safely requires the attention of the road user, as the train driver has limited accident prevention possibilities, they can only give a warning signal and apply the brake. Since the braking distance of trains can be measured in kilometres, the prevention of an accident is in the hands of the person crossing the railway.

“Although, year after year, people’s understanding of railway safety has improved, we cannot be satisfied until even one level crossing can pose a danger. We’re encouraging people with this campaign to take the time to make sure you’re safe. These few seconds will be put into a good use, as it means during this busy period people will be able to get to their homes safely”, commented Tarvi Viisalu, Safety Manager of AS Eesti Raudtee.

A total of 16 railway incidents have occurred in the last 11 months of this year, with 15 people injured and 5 people killed. There have been 10 train-vehicle collisions in which one person has lost their life and 13 people have been injured. There have been six incidents involving pedestrians, resulting in four fatalities and two injuries. The statistics of railway incidents from previous periods can be found at here.

The Railway Safety Campaign You’re Expected Home For Christmas was first run in 2004 and has been running regularly every year since then.

The railway safety campaign is supported by: Eesti Raudtee AS, Edelaraudtee AS, Operail AS, AS GoRail, AS Eesti Liinirongid (Elron), OÜ Rail Baltica Estonia and supported by the Consumer Protection and Technical Surveillance Authority, the Rescue Board, the Police and Border Guard Board, the Rescue Board and the Transportation Board.

Additional information:
Tamo Vahemets,
Operation Lifesaver Estonia NGO,
Chairman of the Board
tel. +372 504 5112,

Railway incidents statistics:
Aap Andreas Rebas,
Consumer Protection and Technical Surveillance Authority,
tel: +372 5645 7757,

Campaign video

Operation Lifesaver Estonia (OLE) is a non-profit organisation established in 2004 under the leadership of AS Eesti Raudtee, whose mission is to significantly increase the public's awareness of the possible dangers and to promote proper behaviour on railway tracks, with the aim of reducing the number of accidents on railways, thereby reducing the number of people killed and injured.