PKP Polish Railway Lines SA, the national railway network in Poland, is responsible for the management of railway traffic, the maintenance and repairs of rail lines and for the safety of railway traffic. The company grants railway lines to passenger and freight operators and makes numerous investments to modernise the lines with the use of budget means and European Union funds.
The message of the “Safe Passage – Stop and Live” campaign is being disseminated in co-operation with mass media and on our web site www.bezpieczny-przejazd.pl
, as well as by means of such resources as billboards along the most important routes, radio announcements and television spots. During meetings with children and young people and in actions organised at level crossings, we distribute leaflets and gadgets while small children get stuffed toys and books with rhymes and drawings about level crossing safety. We have issued a CD with pertinent information for driving schools’ students. The organisers of the campaign come to big mass events (e.g., Przystanek Woodstock), where they hand out informative materials and gadgets. We also organise annual public debates on road safety with the participation of the Vice-minister of Infrastructure, representatives of the Police, the General Management Office for National Roads and Motorways and the National Council for Road Safety. We participate in radio and television panel discussions. We stage simulated accidents on level crossings with engines and cars or dummies, emergency services, fire brigades and railway traffic rescue units. We have signed an agreement with a GPS operator, on the strength of which data concerning level crossings is now included in the vehicle navigation systems.
Among the patrons of the campaign are national media (press, radio, TV, Internet), headquarters of services responsible for security and public order, advertising agencies, the National Council for Road Safety and social organisations (Polish Scouting Association and others).
The President and board members of PKP Polish Railway Lines S.A. have also expressed interest in the campaign. An independent post for social campaigns has already been created in the Head Office, and the company’s press spokesperson is one of the co-organisers of the campaign. In every one of the 27 plants and 8 regional offices, persons have been appointed who are responsible for carrying out the campaign. The actions at level crossings take place in the presence of other employees of the company as well as policemen and representatives of Railway Protection Units, Military Police and Border Guards. We popularise information about level crossing safety and about prevention campaigns in Europe and in the world.
We regularly follow the statistics on the accidents at level crossings. In 2007 there were 262 accidents and in 2008, 226 (i.e., about 15% less). We also analyse the contents of press publications regarding level crossing accidents: approximately 90% of the information is matter-of-fact and objective, and draws the attention to the misuse of level crossings by motorists. Before the campaign began, this level was below 50%.