June 25 - European Awareness Day at Level Crossings | Latvijas dzelzceļš

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June 25 - European Awareness Day at Level Crossings

Thursday, 25 June, 2009

Stop accidents! Europe for Safer Level Crossings!

Each year in Europe at least 600 people fall victim of accidents at level crossings. 95% [1] of these accidents are caused by car drivers. In order to make people understand that these accidents could be avoided if they obey the traffic rules rail and road companies in cooperation with state institutions all over Europe are organising a European Level Crossing Awareness Day on 25 June.

In European Level Crossing Awareness Day on 25 June with a common message Stop accidents! Europe for Safer Level Crossings! on level crossings in several countries are organized educational activities promoting safe behaviour at and around level crossings . In several countries there are different actions: flyers are handed out at level crossings, schools, driving schools, scouting clubs etc. Posters are displayed in railway stations and other central places, special messages are broadcast on radio and television, press conferences are organised with national and local press.

“Safety is a priority issue for Latvijas dzelzceļš (LDz), too. We give considerable attention and resources to safety improvements, therefore, we support this initiative,” stressed Uģis Magonis, Chairman of the Board of LDz. He pointed that for a long time LDz cooperates with educational institutions and media in order to educate society on safety at railway. “We work together with schools, police and media for several years in educating children, youth, as well as whole society on behavior at and around railway. We organize safety lessons at schools, informative campaigns in cooperation with media and we will do it in future,” said U.Magonis.

The project involves road sector, government agencies, railway undertakings, infrastructure managers and police forces from more than 25 countries including non European countries, the European and international rail associations (CER, EIM and UIC), the European Level Crossing Forum (ELCF), the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC), the European Railway Agency (ERA) as well as the European Commission and media. Additionally, several countries outside Europe such as Australia, Canada, India and South-Africa have shown their interest in this initiative and will use the European Awareness Level Crossing Awareness Day as an incentive to communicate on this issue in their own countries.

You can find detailed information on good practices and educational material designed to highlight the issue of risky behaviour at and around level crossings by consulting the dedicated website for level crossing issues at www.levelcrossing.net .

European Awareness Day at Level Crossings is supported also by EC Vice-President and Transport Commissioner Antonio Tajani: “Road safety is a priority issue for the European Commission. It is my personal conviction that such initiatives should be encouraged. I am sure that activities like the European level crossing awareness day will help to improve the safety at level crossings.”

On 20 March with the objective of reducing traffic accidents and fatalities through the exchange of best practices in traffic safety in Europe road and rail organizations signed the European Road Safety Charter.

Level crossing accidents account for 2% of road deaths but a third of all rail fatalities. The European Level Crossing Awareness Day is a joint commitment following the signature of the European Road Safety Charter engaging both road and rail sectors to strong actions on raising public awareness on the danger of risky behavior at level crossings.

Prepared by:

LDz Public Relations Division and International Union of Railways (UIC)


For more information on this European coordinated initiative:

· International Union of Railways (UIC)

Ilyas Daoud, Project Coordinator, phone +32 2 213 08 34, e-mail Daoud@uic.org

Liesbeth de Jong, UIC Press relations, phone + 33 1 44 49 20 53, e-mail, Dejong@uic.org

· European Level Crossing Forum (ELFC)

Alan Davies, Secretary of ELCF, Phone +44 20 7904 7964, mobile +44 7919 016 502, 
e-mail Alan.Davies@rssb.co.uk

· Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER)

Frank Schneider, CER Press and Communications Manager, phone +32 2 213 08 90, 
mobile +32 473 32 20 94, e-mail Frank.schneider@cer.be

· European Rail Infrastructure Managers (EIM)

Patrick Keating, EIM Public Affairs Manager, phone +32 2 234 37 70, mobile +32 476 66 19 09

e-mail Patrick.keating@eimrail.org

· European Transport Safety Council (ETSC)

Evgueni Pogorelov, ETSC Communications Officer, phone +32 2230 41 06, e-mail Evgueni.pogorelov@etsc.be 

[1] According to UIC calculations