PRESS RELEASE New guidelines on level crossing safety to help save lives!

(Geneva/Tallinn/Paris, 3 May 2016) IRU, the Inter­na­tio­nal Union of Railways (UIC) and Ope­ra­tion Life­sa­ver Esto­nia (OLE) pub­lis­hed a Level Cros­sing Safe­ty flyer on 3 May 2016 to rai­se awa­re­ness of pro­fes­sio­nal dri­vers and reduce rela­ted acci­dents at this key inter­face between road and rail inf­rastruc­tu­re. 

Using a level cros­sing is safe as long as users cross pro­per­ly. Nevert­he­less, risks still exist and the con­sequences of a col­li­sion between trains and com­mercial vehic­les can be dra­ma­tic.

The Uni­ted Nations Eco­no­mic Com­mis­sion for Euro­pe (UNECE) 1968 Con­ven­tion on Road Traf­fic and the Hig­hway Code, sta­tes that “trains have priority, whilst road users and pedest­rians must comp­ly with road signs and sig­nals in order to cross safely and con­sequent­ly pre­vent any col­li­sion ari­sing from misu­se or inapp­rop­ria­te beha­viour and poten­tial­ly endan­ge­ring train pas­sen­gers, crew and other users.” 

Glo­bal freight and pas­sen­ger traf­fic, both road and rail, have inc­reased mar­ked­ly in recent deca­des, the­re­by also inc­reasing the risks of col­li­sions at level cros­sings.

This is why IRU and UIC, two worl­dwi­de road and rail associa­tions, toget­her with Ope­ra­tion Life­sa­ver Esto­nia, have joi­ned forces to rai­se awa­re­ness about level cros­sing safe­ty amongst trans­port pro­fes­sio­nals. Whi­le the flyer does not cover eve­ry situa­tion that may ari­se when com­mercial dri­vers use a level cros­sing, it aims to make them more awa­re of how to avoid risks poten­tial­ly lea­ding to a col­li­sion.

Pre­si­dent of the IRU Com­mis­sion for Road Safe­ty, Rob Aar­se, said, “For true road trans­port pro­fes­sio­nals, eve­ry road acci­dent is one too many. We welco­me this oppor­tu­nity to work toget­her with the UIC and Ope­ra­tion Life­sa­ver Esto­nia in tack­ling the issue of level cros­sing safe­ty so that we can rai­se awa­re­ness among dri­vers of poten­tial dan­gers and ulti­ma­tely save lives.”

UIC Direc­tor Gene­ral, Jean-Pier­re Loubi­noux, stres­sed, “We’ve been wor­king for years on this ris­ky inter­face, but strengthe­ning col­la­bo­ra­tion with road orga­ni­sa­tions such as IRU is key to imp­ro­ving safe­ty at level cros­sings at the hig­hest level pos­sib­le.”

OLE’s CEO, Tamo Vahe­mets, said, “I belie­ve that these safe­ty gui­de­li­nes deve­loped in coo­pe­ra­tion with UIC and IRU will help pro­fes­sio­nal dri­vers bet­ter unders­tand the risks rela­ted to cros­sing railways by pro­vi­ding cle­ar inst­ruc­tions to cross railways safely. I hope that dri­vers will take such gui­de­li­nes serious­ly and fol­low them as safe­ty norms.” 

Beyond raising dri­ver awa­re­ness, this coo­pe­ra­tion will also help the three orga­ni­sa­tions enhance know­led­ge and safe­ty in the design and use of level cros­sings.

The Level Cros­sing Safe­ty flyer is cur­rent­ly avai­lab­le in Eng­lish with other lan­gua­ges set to fol­low.

Read more
IRU work to inc­rease road safe­ty
UIC work to inc­rease rail safe­ty and road/rail safe­ty
OLE work to inc­rease road/rail safe­ty


Notes to editors

Inter­na­tio­nal Union of Railways (UIC) 

Based in Paris, the UIC cur­rent­ly groups 200 mem­ber railways from all parts of the world. Its main mis­sion con­sists in pro­mo­ting the deve­lop­ment of rail trans­port worl­dwi­de and orga­ni­sing inter­na­tio­nal coo­pe­ra­tion among its mem­bers. Main pro­jects focus on tech­nical har­mo­ni­sa­tion and railway stan­dards, deve­lop­ment of freight and pas­sen­ger business (inc­lu­ding high speed), rail trans­port sustai­na­bi­lity, safe­ty and secu­rity, and trai­ning issu­es. The UIC main­tains clo­se coo­pe­ra­tion links with over 50 inter­na­tio­nal and pro­fes­sio­nal orga­niza­tions.


IRU is the world’s road trans­port orga­ni­sa­tion, pro­mo­ting eco­no­mic growth and pros­pe­rity through the sustai­nab­le mobi­lity of peo­ple and goods. Foun­ded in 1948, IRU works in more than 100 count­ries.

Ope­ra­tion Life­sa­ver Esto­nia (OLE) 

Based in Tal­linn, OLE 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 inci­dents and peo­ple kil­led and inju­red in such acci­dents. OLE’s mem­bers are AS Ees­ti Raud­tee, AS EVR Car­go, Ede­la­raud­tee Inf­ra­struk­tuu­ri AS and AS GoR­ail.


Media contacts

Marie Plaud
Depu­ty Direc­tor of Com­mu­nica­tions
Inter­na­tio­nal Union of Railways (UIC)
16, rue Jean Rey — F‑75015 Paris, France
Tel +33 (0)1 44 49 20 52 | Fax +33 (0)1 44 49 20 59

John Kidd
Head – Com­mu­nica­tions
16, che­min de la Voie-Creuse / B.P. 44
CH-1211 Gene­va 20, Switzer­land
Tel: +41–22-918 27 07

Tamo Vahe­mets
Ope­ra­tion Life­sa­ver Esto­nia
Toom­puies­tee 35
10133 Tal­linn, Esto­nia
Reg nr. 80215200
A/A: 10220041791012 SEB
Tel: +372 50 45 112

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[download_link link=”[button link=“” size=“small” variation=“red” align=“left” target=“blank”]Leaflet for Bus dri­vers [/download_link]
[download_link link=”[button link=“” size=“small” variation=“red” align=“left” target=“blank”]Leaflet for Taxi dri­vers [/download_link]
[download_link link=”[button link=“” size=“small” variation=“red” align=“left” target=“blank”]Leaflet for Truck dri­vers [/download_link]