“Act safely at level crossings!”
International Level Crossing Awareness Day (ILCAD) on 22 June 2010
(Paris/Brussels, 21 June 2010) Despite all the measures taken to indicate the presence of level crossings and make them safe, too many road users and pedestrians are killed or injured at such crossings each year right around the world.
Almost all accidents at level crossing are due to road users failing to observe mandatory stop lights, signals and basic traffic safety rules. Contrary to what is generally thought, most accidents involve “regulars”, in particular those living near and/or making regular use of a level-crossing, as familiarity habit makes them less careful or more reckless, which may prove fatal.
In order to reduce these accidents, countries are making efforts to remove level crossings. This is, however, a long-term undertaking because there are still hundreds of thousands of level crossings in the world and removing them involves huge costs and relatively long study and implementation times. This is why education remains key and imperative to reduce level crossing accidents. Therefore, the rail and road sectors in more than 45 countries worldwide are organising together an International Level Crossing Awareness Day (ILCAD), tomorrow, on 22nd June 2010, to make people understand that these accidents could be avoided if they obey the traffic rules and to address the question of misbehaviour at and around level crossings.
The International Level Crossing Awareness Day focuses on educational measures and the promotion of safe behaviour at and around level crossings. It is built on existing national events which will be held jointly at various locations in every participating country and constructed around the common message “Act safely at level crossings!” In addition to regular or permanent activities held throughout the year, many special communications actions have been planned across the 5 continents: flyers handed out at level crossings, in schools, driving schools, scouting clubs etc., posters will be displayed in railway stations and other central places, special messages will be broadcast on radio and television, press conferences will be organised with national and local press.
The project involves the road sector, governmental agencies, railway undertakings, rail infrastructure managers, police forces, non-profit organisations dealing with railway safety education, from over 45 countries as well as European and International rail organisations (CER, EIM, UIC), Operation Lifesaver, the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC), the European Level Crossing Forum (ELCF), the European Railway Agency (ERA) and the UN-ECE Transport Division. This year the Latin American Railway Association (ALAF) and the Australasian Railway Association (ARA) also join the Campaign.
The European Commission participates actively in the ILCAD Campaign. DG Move (Road Safety) of the European Commission Mobility and Transport organised a workshop in April 2010 on level crossing safety and financed a pan-European video clip called “Just in time” directed at road users and pedestrians designed to complement the national activities in the participating countries.
You can find detailed information on good practices and educational material designed to highlight the issue of misbehaviour at and around level crossings by consulting the dedicated website for level crossing issues at www.levelcrossing.net and educational material at www.ilcad.org
Note to editor:
The International Level Crossing Awareness Day is a joint commitment continuing from the success of the first European Level Crossing Awareness Day held on 25th June 2009 in 27 countries raising public awareness on the dangers of misbehaviour at level crossings.
Level crossing accidents account for only 2% of road deaths but a third of all rail fatalities based on European statistics. Road and rail organisations from participating countries acknowledged their shared responsibility to deal with this issue by organising safety events to develop public awareness and safe behaviour at and around level crossings. Additionally, many of them have signed the European Road Safety Charter which is an initiative of the European Union. The Charter has the objective of developing concrete actions, assessing results and further heightening awareness about the need to reduce traffic accidents and fatalities through the exchange of best practices in traffic safety in Europe, while adding a European dimension to individual or collective initiatives.
For more information on this international coordinated initiative:
International Union of Railways (UIC)
Projects Officer, Safety & Interoperability
T: + 33 1 44 49 20 91
Liesbeth de Jong
UIC Press Relations
T: + 33 1 44 49 20 53
Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER)
CER Press & Communications Manager
T: + 32 2 213 08 90
European Rail Infrastructure Managers (EIM)
EIM Public Affairs Manager
T: + 32 2 234 37 70
European Level Crossing Forum (ELCF)
T: +44 20 3142 5371
European Transport Safety Council (ETSC)
T: + 32 2 230 41 06
Operation Lifesaver (OL)
Tamo Vahemets (OL Estonia)
Chairman of the Management Board
T: + 00 37 2 50 45 112