In an effort to increase public safety awareness at level crossings, Israel Railways is joining forces with the Traffic Police, the Ministry of Education’s Road Safety Department and the Association for Safer Driving in Israel to bring home the message of safety among specific target audiences and the general public.
Dangerous crossing of railway tracks is a recognized international phenomenon, which poses a significant challenge to the operation of trains at a very high risk to those travelling in cars and trains. To raise public awareness of this danger, rail companies from 43 countries around the world joined forces and set up an International Level Crossing Awareness Day (ILCAD).
Israel Railways takes part in the global effort of the International Union of Railways and will be holding the International Safety Week for the 6th consecutive year, in cooperation with the Traffic Department of the Israel Police and the Ministry of Education’s Road Safety Department. During this week, Israel Railways will promote a series of activities to raise public awareness with regards the safety of all road users at level crossings and their personal responsibility and commitment to behave in a considerate and law-abiding manner.
Activities to be held this year include:
- Nationwide training in schools in cooperation with the Ministry of Education’s Department of Road Safety. A unique lesson plan has been developed for this purpose, in the belief that behavioral change begins with education at a young age.
- Cooperating with the Association for Safer Driving in Israel with the aim of significantly reducing incidences of truck drivers smashing through level crossing barriers.
- Placing cautionary road signs at selected level crossings.
- Cooperating with the traffic police in distributing to the public informational pamphlets about road safety, with the aim of increasing enforcement through advocacy rather than punishment.
- Radio broadcasts by various radio stations throughout the country, with the message: Either follow the safety rules or don’t cross the road at all!
- Public relations campaign on Facebook.
During 2016, 13,892 vehicles crossed a level crossing after the barrier had begun to drop, disrupting railway traffic, causing emergency stops and endangering human life. In 2016, 81 barrier arms were smashed a few seconds before the train entered the level crossing, 63 of which were caused by vehicles.
According to Israel Railways data, there is a 22% increase in the incidents of barrier smashing during the summer months.
Almost all accidents result from the dangerous behavior of road users who did not comply with the traffic laws and barrier signs. Even though there are relatively few level crossings in Israel compared to other countries its size, Israel’s investment in safety measures is one of the highest in the world.
In recent years, Israel Railways has invested considerable resources in dealing with accidents. This includes developing and upgrading the railway infrastructure, installing lookout points, and initiating educational programs in areas where the incidence of accidents is high. In addition, Israel Railways has developed innovative technology intended to alert approaching trains, to enhance level crossing and barrier visibility, and to monitor vehicles on the tracks. This technology includes:
Advance traffic lights – aimed at preventing vehicles from entering the level crossing when a train is approaching and / or when there is a long line of vehicles in the direction of the tracks.
Video Motion Detection (VMD) cameras - designed to detect a vehicle stuck in the “forbidden zone” (the area between the two barriers) of the level crossing, and to alert the railway’s safety call center.
Radar scanners – that scan the area of the level crossing after the barriers have dropped. If a vehicle or other obstacle is detected, the signal system of the approaching train displays a red light to the driver. If the train does not stop, an automatic braking system is activated.
Vehicle monitoring system on the tracks - a system is based on loop detectors installed in the area between the barriers that identify vehicles that have been sitting for a while on the level crossing, or vehicles entering the level crossing after the barriers begin to drop.
Advance road signage - warns the driver of the approaching vehicle about the oncoming train. The advance signs are usually installed in level crossings where there is a problem of visibility for the driver of the approaching vehicle due to a sharp bend in the road or another obstacle.
All the above technology will not prevent a fatal incident unless drivers and pedestrians comply with traffic laws and procedures at level crossings and exercise caution.
At the link below you will find the following:
- Tutorial on the subject
- Click here to view the tutorial
- Click here to view the announcement
- Cross-sectional Information for target audiences - students
(Source: Israel Railways)