There were 45 accidents at level crossings in Belgium in 2019. 17 of them, accounting for more than one third of the total number, occurred at a level crossing in a port area.
Unfortunately, this represents an increase compared to previous years. This increase was noted in Antwerp, Zeebrugge and Ghent, and the consequences could be severe: in addition to being life-threatening, accidents at level crossings also cause significant material damage and delays to freight traffic, with major economic consequences.
That is why, on 30 November, Infrabel launched a campaign for greater safety at level crossings in port areas, specifically targeted at truck drivers. The message of the campaign is clear: Red = stop! Indeed, figures show that drivers fail to stop at the red light in 80% of accidents.
Motto: Red = Stop, anytime, anywhere!
Infrabel is aware that the traffic situation at the ports is not always easy and straightforward. It is characterised by heavy traffic with many trucks and numerous level crossings, most of which have no barriers and, in some cases, do not even have traffic lights. That is why Infrabel joined forces with Waze, Flitsmeister and Coyote to warn drivers approaching level crossings.
Infrabel has published the GPS coordinates of all of its level crossings in Belgium on its Open Data platform. This data is freely available, allowing navigation app developers to integrate it free of charge. In this way, Waze and Flitsmeister can send notifications to their users when approaching level crossings. With this additional warning, Infrabel hopes to help drivers stay extra alert near level crossings and thus increase road safety.
In previous years, Infrabel’s campaign was held on the shortest days of the year, when visibility is often limited due to weather conditions. This year, unlike in previous years, the campaign is entirely digital. Unfortunately, due to the current coronavirus crisis, onsite activities in the three ports are not possible.
The campaign can be seen on various social media, as well as through Infrabel partners’ media channels. The campaign was made possible due to excellent cooperation between Infrabel and its partners: Port of Antwerp, MBZ Port of Zeebrugge, North Sea Port (Ghent), Combinant, ICO, APZI, Stukwerkers, Waze, Flitsmeister and Coyote.