The 8th International Level Crossing Awareness Day has today June 10th, 2016 attracted extensive media coverage from around the world. This demonstrates the reach of the annual event with 40 nations across all five continents participating. For the first time the launch event has been spread across two countries over two days leading nicely into next Global Level Crossing Symposium in Helsinki.
Today in Riga, Latvia, there has been a conference with international participation built around the ILAD 2016 focus on those who through age or disability have longer reaction times when determining whether or not it is safe to cross. The second component is a technical visit hosted by Estonia’s ever innovative Operation Lifesaver programme.
Chief Executive of the International Union of Railways Jean-Pierre Loubinoux: “As in previous years, we are proud to bring together about 40 countries to participate in this global event, either by relaying it on their websites or on social media, or by organising a range of activities around 10-11 June.
The partners in ILCAD will be focusing in particular on safety at level crossings, but some will also make the most of the opportunity to raise public awareness of other dangers such as crossing railway lines where it is strictly forbidden to do so, or safety on station platforms. We wish our partners all the best for their campaign.”
Each year, the ILCAD partners choose a different section of the public for their awareness campaign. Since we have been experiencing in a certain number of countries an increasing number of collisions at level crossings involving seniors, we have decided this year to focus on “Senior citizens and people with sensory and mobility restrictions”.
As for all other categories of road users, pedestrians and cyclists, collisions may involve seniors who may take wrong decisions either by error or deliberately. For this particular category of persons, misbehaviour can be linked to habit, ageing (failing sight, hearing loss, longer reaction and decision times), and to the overestimation of their ability to take safe decisions which can as both pedestrians and motorists put them and others at risk of harm, all too often fatally.
To view the new public safety announcement addressing the over estimate of personal capability please visit: http://www.ilcad.org.
To put ILCAD in context there are around 600 000 level crossings worldwide (213 000 in the USA, 113 000 in Europe). In Europe, while fatalities at level crossings amount to just 1% of road fatalities but over 25% of railway related fatalities (in 2012 more than 320 of which 38% were aged 65 and over).