International Level Crossing Awareness Day June 22, 2010

Act safely at level crossings!

Operation Lifesaver Canada is committed to saving lives and preventing injuries through educating the public about the hazards and risks related to railway crossings.  In acknowledgment of the importance of rail-crossing safety, not only in Canada but also in countries worldwide, Operation Lifesaver Canada is proud to support International Level Crossing Awareness Day (ILCAD), an international public-rail safety awareness program initiated by numerous agencies in the European Union.

Despite all the measures taken to indicate the presence of level crossings and make them safe, too many road users and pedestrians are killed or injured at such crossings each year around the world. Almost all accidents at level crossings are due to road users failing to observe mandatory stoplights, signals and basic traffic safety rules. Contrary to what is generally thought, most accidents involve “regulars”, in particular those living near and/or making regular use of a level crossing. Unfortunately familiarity makes drivers less careful or more reckless, which may prove fatal.

In order to reduce these accidents, countries are making efforts to remove level crossings. This is, however, a long-term undertaking because there are still hundreds of thousands of level crossings in the world and removing them involves huge costs and relatively long study and implementation times. This is why education remains key and imperative to reduce level crossing accidents. Therefore, the rail and road sectors in more than 45 countries worldwide are jointly organizing International Level Crossing Awareness Day (ILCAD) June 22nd 2010, to make people understand that these accidents could be avoided if they obey the traffic rules and to address the question of misbehavior at and around level crossings.

The International Level Crossing Awareness Day focuses on educational measures and the promotion of safe behavior at and around level crossings. It is built on existing national events that will be held jointly at various locations in every participating country and constructed around the common message “Act safely at level crossings!” In addition to regular or permanent activities held throughout the year, many special communications actions have been planned across the five continents: flyers handed out at level crossings, in schools, driving schools, scouting clubs etc., posters will be displayed in railway stations and other central places, special messages will be broadcast on radio and television, press conferences will be organized with national and local press.

The project involves the road sector, governmental agencies, railway undertakings, rail infrastructure managers, police forces, non-profit organizations dealing with railway safety education, from over 45 countries as well as European and International rail organizations (CER, EIM, UIC), Operation Lifesaver, the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC), the European Level Crossing Forum (ELCF), the European Railway Agency (ERA) and the UN-ECE Transport Division. This year the Latin American Railway Association (ALAF) and the Australasian Railway Association (ARA) also join the Campaign.

The European Commission participates actively in the ILCAD Campaign.  DG Move (Road Safety) of the European Commission Mobility and Transport organised a workshop in April 2010 on level crossing safety and financed a pan-European video clip called “Just in time” directed at road users and pedestrians designed to complement the national activities in the participating countries.

You can find detailed information on good practices and educational material designed to highlight the issue of misbehavior at and around level crossings by consulting the dedicated website for level crossing issues at and educational material at For Canadian resources on public-rail safety, multimedia training, and more, feel free to explore

Public-rail safety at crossings is imperative to saving lives. Virtually every level crossing related injury or death is entirely preventable.  Educational initiatives like International Level Crossing Awareness Day will go a long way to increasing public awareness of safe behaviors and respect for rail hazards so that ultimately, crossing accidents no longer occur.

For more information on this international coordinated initiative:

Operation Lifesaver Canada

Daniel Di Tota, National Director

(613) 564-8094


International Union of Railways (UIC)

Isabelle Fonverne, Projects Officer, Safety & Interoperability T: + 33 1 44 49 20 91, e-mail:

Liesbeth de Jong, UIC Press Relations, T.: + 33 1 44 49 20 53, e-mail:


Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER)

Eva Böckle, CER Press & Communications Manager, T: + 32 2 213 08 90, e-mail:


European Rail Infrastructure Managers (EIM)

Johana Grohova, EIM Public Affairs Manager, T: + 32 2 234 37 70, e-mail:


European Level Crossing Forum (ELCF)

Alan Davies, Chairman, T.:  +44 20 3142 5371, e-mail:


European Transport Safety Council (ETSC)

Ilyas Daoud, Project Officer, T.: + 32 2 230 41 06, e-mail:


Operation Lifesaver (OL):

Tamo Vahemets (OL Estonia), Chairman of the Management Board, T.: + 00 37 2 5045112,