12th edition of the International Level Crossing Awareness
12th edition of the International Level Crossing Awareness
12th edition of the International Level Crossing Awareness Day (ILCAD)
11 June 2020

 
On 11 June 2020 the 12th edition of ILCAD – the International Level Crossing Awareness Day – will be celebrated under the aegis of the International Union of Railways (UIC).
 
This edition is very special. Even if, because of the Covid-19 outbreak, it had been proposed to postpone the usual launch conference of ILCAD to 2021, UIC and ILCAD partners have decided to keep the worldwide campaign alive in 2020.
 
Therefore, a web-conference is scheduled for that day, visit www.ilcad.org.
 
Because safety is the core of our railway activity, UIC decided to spread level crossing safety awareness messages more than ever on 11 June (publications on social media, press release and poster shared with ILCAD partners).
 
In addition, although rail and road traffic have dropped drastically during the confinement in many countries around the world, several collisions and casualties at level crossings were unfortunately reported. This, coupled to a greater number of trespass events, has not meant that running fewer trains reduces the number of instances.
 
With the end of confinement, as the numbers of trains starts to recover towards nearer to former normal levels, there is a risk that the number of collisions and casualties at level crossings might increase, especially as drivers and pedestrians might have become used to far fewer trains running recently.  
 
During these unprecedented times, many railway companies have encouraged level crossing users to be extra vigilant through press articles and on social media. The road safety prevention associations did the same on the risks inherent in the road traffic.
 
Lately, during the Covid-19 related confinement, one could see how much safety was also in the core of one’s daily life and how important it was to protect fragile persons, and the population as a whole.  
Many companies (including the railways), associations and individuals have taken great initiatives to help others to work and stay safe. To stress also how much first responders’, medical staff and other key workers (including railway personnel) were supported and appreciated.
 
“All together we are stronger!” could be the ILCAD 2020 motto.
 
In an ideal world, level crossings would not exist. However, according to UIC safety data base[1] estimates, there are half a million level crossings worldwide.  Therefore, it is vital that users crossing the railway at this interface respect the highway code and pay attention to the barriers, road signs and signals that are there to protect them.
Nevertheless, 98% of collisions with vehicles at level crossings are caused by failure to comply with the traffic rules, either deliberately or accidentally. Driving errors may be caused by routine, stress, fatigue, inattention, consumption of psychoactive substances or speeding, as well as inappropriate use of electronic tools (GPS, mobile phone, etc.). For drivers of long, oversized and heavy vehicles, collisions may also be caused by a lack of training or information on potential risks encountered at level crossings.
 
ILCAD’s core “raison d’être” is bring the core level crossing safety messages to as wide a group of people as possible.  
 
Did you know? 
  • 13th edition of ILCAD launch conference and worldwide campaign: 10 June 2021
  • 40 countries participating in ILCAD: www.ilcad.org   
  • According to ERA[2] in the EU in 2018:
  • 105,300 level crossings in the EU-28 in 2018 (over 53% protected LCs)
  • Almost 300 people die annually in accidents at level crossings in the EU[3]
  • Total costs estimated at €1 billion per year[4]
  • LC users’ fatalities represent 31 % of railway fatalities, but only 1 % of road fatalities. In the EU-28 in 2018:  
  • 258 fatalities; 291 serious injuries; 444 accidents
 
For more information: 
 


[2] ERA: European Railway Agency: https://www.era.europa.eu/
[3]EU-28 as of end 2019
[4] Of which €850 million for casualties alone, Unit costs from Handbook on the external costs of transport, CE Delft 2019
 
 
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