Press release, 29 April 2013, Railway Safety Week RON2013 starts in Estonia
[image_frame style=”shadow” align=”left” alt=”” title=”Railway Safety Week RON2013″ height=”370″ width=”250″]http://ole.ee/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/ron2013-a4_en.jpg[/image_frame]The campaign with the slogan “Let the train pass!” calls on road users to be more cautious due to increasing train driving speeds.
The railway safety week starting today carries the message “Let the train pass!” The purpose of the campaign is to draw road users’ attention to the dangers caused by the new passenger train starting to move on Estonian railway lines in the second half of this year. The campaign is organised by NPO Operation Lifesaver Estonia in cooperation with the Estonian Technical Surveillance Authority and the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board.
“Although the new passenger trains are much more comfortable and faster, their introduction changes the usual traffic environment considerably,“ explained Tamo Vahemets, Chairman of Management Board of NPO Operation Lifesaver Estonia. “If until now pedestrians and motor vehicle drivers are used with railway vehicles driving up to 120 km/h then it will be quite a new experience for them to consider with trains moving much faster. The new trains make also much less noise than the old ones. This means that the new trains could be approaching much faster than thought, which may have sad consequences for negligent road users.“
“The purpose of the campaign is to remind both motor vehicle drivers and pedestrians that crossing railways always requires special attention and people should stop for that doing all the other things,“ said Tamo Vahemets. ”First of all, a motor vehicle driver must choose the right driving speed while approaching a railway level crossing, as this makes it possible to assess the speed of an approaching train correctly. Car radios should be turned off or at least their volume turned down at the time of crossing railway lines, as trains give sound signals while approaching level crossings. These sound signals may not have proper effect if drivers’ thoughts are elsewhere and car radio too loud. The same rule applies to pedestrians wearing headphones and mobile phone conversations, however interesting they might be.“
The Deputy Director General of the Estonian Technical Surveillance Authority Anvar Salomets explained that the number of railway accidents had decreased in recent years. Last year were registered 16 railway accidents, which is almost twice less than in 2011. “It is extremely positive that in 2011 and 2012 we had in Estonia no train – motor vehicle collisions with fatal consequences. The improved technical condition of the railway infrastructure to which the government and railway companies have contributed a lot, has certainly played its role in achieving this result. I would also like to hope that this was also due to motor vehicle drivers’ improved traffic behaviour and people paying more attention to threats while crossing railways or moving around in railway area.“
The Estonian Police and Border Guard Board that organises during this week traffic monitoring at railway level crossings also supports the Railway Safety Week campaign. “Crossing railways has become a daily routine for many road users and people tend not to pay enough attention in such situations. Unfortunately, many tragic accidents happen due to such careless behaviour,“ said Deputy Director of the Estonian Police and Boarder Guard Board Tarmo Miilits. “Throughout this week, the police monitor at railway level crossings the behaviour of both motor vehicle drivers and pedestrians and draws their attention to potential dangers and violations.“
During the Railway Safety Week, campaign posters are being displayed in public space and additional railway safety presentations are organised in schools.
- The key event of the Railway Safety Week is OLE’s gratitude event held on April 30 during which OLE recognises its cooperation partners, as well as persons and organisations involved in railway safety promotion activities. OLE’s “Golden Level Crossing Gates” award will be given to the most outstanding supporter of railway safety work in 2012.
- The closing event of the Railway Safety Week will be ILCAD (International Level Crossing Awaneress Day) during which OLE installs its mascots called “Sparkies” at several railway level crossings in Estonia.
OLE (www.ole.ee) is a non-profit organisation founded in 2004 by the initiative of AS Eesti Raudtee (Estonian Railways) with the mission to increase considerably public awareness about dangers involved in railway traffic and lawful behaviour on railway, with the purpose to reduce the number of railway accidents and people killed and injured in such accidents.
Additional information: Tamo Vahemets, Chairman of Management Board of OLE, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +372 504 5112
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