The 13th International Level Crossing Awareness Day (ILCAD) will be celebrated on June 10 under the auspices of the International Union of Railways (UIC).
Despite the current situation, the UIC and ILCAD partners have decided to keep this worldwide campaign alive in 2021. As in 2020, the ILCAD keynote conference, hosted by Network Rail at the York National Railroad Museum and originally conceived as an in-person event, will be held online.
Due to the success of previous online conferences held in English and Spanish in 2020, the conference will be held in English, Spanish and French to broaden the reach and scope to share the outstanding work done by rail and road authorities around the world. More information at a later date http://www.ilcad.org will be published at.
As safety is at the center of rail activity, UIC has decided to spread level crossing safety awareness messages more than ever on June 10 through social media posts, press releases and posters shared with ILCAD partners.
Although rail and road traffic has decreased significantly during the various curfews in many countries around the world, unfortunately, numerous crashes and casualties have been reported at level crossings. In some cases, as lifestyles have changed with “work from home”, other people have started using level crossings. Some countries, including the United Kingdom, have seen an increase in the number of near-accidents with these new users.
With the end of curfews and train numbers starting to improve, once again approaching normal levels, there is a risk of increased crashes and fatalities, especially as drivers and pedestrians have recently become accustomed to having far fewer trains crossing level crossings.
Without apologizing to users, it is important to understand that people may be disturbed or distracted during this difficult period, such as work, school, child care, ever-changing health rules, sleep disorders, etc. It is important to accept that they can be stressful for various reasons.
Accidents can occur at level crossings because some users deliberately decide to cross by not following basic safety rules and road rules when barriers are closed or lights are flashing. Or it could be because they're distracted or not paying attention, or because they're in a hurry to catch the train, go on a date, or drop their kids off at school. The consequences of inappropriate decisions taken at the wrong time can be dramatic, in some cases causing serious injury or death.
The Theme of ILCAD 2021 is “Distraction kills!” The slogan is distraction.
In an ideal world there would be no level crossings. However, according to the UIC Safety Database estimates, there are half a million level crossings worldwide. Therefore, it is very important for users crossing the railways through this interface to obey the road rules and pay attention to the road signs, signals and barriers that are there to protect them. Pedestrians and cyclists are affected as much as road users.
98% of vehicle collisions at level crossings are caused by deliberate or accidental violation of traffic rules. Driving errors can be caused by distraction as well as speeding. The number of collisions with vulnerable users such as pedestrians and cyclists is increasing in some countries. Sometimes users cross with the barriers closed and lights flashing, or in some cases collide with a second train coming from the opposite direction after the first train has passed. They may be wearing a hoodie or earplugs that prevent them from seeing or hearing the approaching train. Some users are runners or cyclists in a hurry, while others include the elderly who regularly use level crossings and no longer pay attention to their potential risks.
ILCAD exists to deliver basic level crossing safety messages to as many people as possible.