EIM, the European Rail Infrastructure Managers gathering 11 members, was established to promote the interests and views of the independent infrastructure managers in Europe, following liberalisation of the railway market.
Each year too many people die in accidents at level crossings. This currently stands at 2% of road deaths but at the same time accounts for around 30% of all rail accidents. 95% of these accidents which involve at least one fatality are caused by the road vehicle driver. However, society still regards these fatal accidents as a rail problem only. This is a significant risk area for the rail sector, while it is seen as a small part of road safety; consequently, the balance must be redressed through recognition of the multimodal nature of the issue to effectively address misbehaviour of users at and around level crossings.
The following actions are proposed:
1. Implementation of a European awareness campaign at level crossings to be held in June.
2. Establishment of an innovative web-based level crossing resource, www.levelcrossing.net, to create a network of accurate
information promoting safety, best practices on the management of level crossings, the sharing of experiences and educational material, etc.
This first European campaign will be a collaborative effort built on existing national initiatives and involving major railway
undertakings, the road sector, infrastructure managers, government agencies from numerous European Member States,
the European Commission, law enforcement authorities, a number of European Instances such as the European Transport Safety Council or the European Railway Agency in a European task force coordinating this project.
The focus of the action will be on linking together a series of existing national events, all on the same date, based on a
common theme and branded in a unique manner, to be held conjointly at various locations in every participating Member
State. The key message will be: Stop accidents! Europe for safer level crossings.
This action is designed to help raise awareness of the critical risks at the road/rail interface faced by the rail community,
focusing on education and user behaviour at level crossings. A joint press release will be written and translated into the
various languages of the Member States. Each participating entity is free to design its own message based on to its experience
and national context.
It is likely that some Member States will prefer a simple media campaign, whilst others may prefer something more physical,
such as the use of speed cameras located at the approaches to a number of well-chosen hot spots. In the various countries,
national projects are currently being discussed. At this stage, around 16 countries are already involved at different
levels: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, the Netherlands, Poland,
Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK. and it is hoped that more will join in the next few months.
The success of the campaign will be judged on its initial goal of raising public awareness about railway level crossing safety
and general safety around the rail interface, and it is hoped that this kind of campaign at European level will lend itself to
future global expansion.
Commitment shared with:
UIC (International Union of Railways)
CER (Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies)
ELCF (European Level Crossing Forum)