Tuesday 14 June 2016
News from UIC Members

ILCAD in Croatia

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HŽ Infrastruktura marked the 8th International Level Crossing Awareness Day (ILCAD) at the Remetinec level crossing within the Zagreb neighbourhood of the same name. ILCAD was marked by the “Train is Always Faster“ campaign, which HŽ Infrastruktura has been carrying out for 16 years already.

The “Train is always faster” team & Faculty of Traffic Sciences are participating in a joint project called “Implementation of measures to increase the safety of vulnerable road users at level crossings.”

The campaign was also supported by the legendary Croatian football coach, Mr. Miroslav Ćiro Blažević, who teamed up with the police and HŽ Infrastruktura in pulling over drivers, cyclists and stopping pedestrians to talk to them about the dangers of crossing the tracks. Promotion materials were handed out and drivers were warned to be cautious and to observe the existing traffic signalling while crossing the tracks.

Since pensioners and people with sensory and mobility limitations were the target audience of campaigns this year, they were mostly addressed, and showed enthusiasm for the campaign with a great level of awareness for the dangers of crossing the tracks at their age, which has many limitations. The famous Croatian football coach, Miroslav Ćiro Blažević, managed to tackle the situation very well and in his characteristic way, he warned all traffic participants to be aware of dangers:

“Considering my broad experience in traffic, I know very well that even a small lack of attention is enough for a great accident to happen. This is why I want to warn drivers to look both up and down regardless of signalling …The greatest problem today is the use of mobile phones and smoking while driving, which you should not be doing because it is distracting. So please be careful! Someone once said: as you sit in the car, you have one foot in the grave, one in prison, the third one in hospital….”

Ćiro could not avoid answering a current question connected with the European Football Championship and the performance of the Croatian team.

“We are the best and we will reach the final!”, the coach of all coaches said in his succinct style.

Mr. Ivan Kartelo, the Head of HŽ Infrastruktura Corporate Communications spoke of the International Level Crossing Awareness Day (ILCAD) and the “Train is Always Faster” campaign:

“These days, when people in the whole world are especially called upon to be careful at level crossings, HŽ Infrastruktura wants to turn your attention to the importance of observing traffic rules. It is a fact that accidents happen, but also that in 95 per cent of cases road vehicle drivers and pedestrians are to blame for accidents, because unfortunately they do not observe traffic signalling. One of the indicators of this is also the information that during 2015 we had 501 half-barrier breakages across Croatia, which clearly indicates that road vehicle drivers are careless. This is why we have started carrying out these campaigns since 2000, in which we are trying to raise awareness of all traffic participants, especially drivers of road vehicles, pedestrians and older people. Broken half-barriers can be repaired, but there is only one human life. So please stop, think about it and wait, because the train is always faster.”

Marko Žganec from the Level Crossings Committee spoke of HŽ Infrastruktura investments in level crossing modernization in Croatia:
“HŽ Infrastruktura is investing significant financial means into upgrading level crossings on Croatian lines. Last year, 19 upgraded level crossings were put into operation, and this year, upgraded devices were installed at six level crossings. HŽ Infrastruktura additionally increased safety levels. Other than 27 level crossings, which should be put into operation by the end of the year, the upgrade of 50 more level crossings is envisaged by the end of 2017, for which funding has been secured to the amount of HRK 60 million from a World Bank loan. We are therefore investing and raising safety levels and in this way we are additionally appealing to all traffic participants to behave more carefully.

Already in 2000, Croatian Railways started the “Train is Always Faster” preventative-educational campaign, with the aim of warning traffic participants of traffic dangers during careless crossing of level crossings. The campaign was carried out in co-operation and with the help of the Ministry of the Interior. Other than at level crossings, the campaign was also conducted in the lower classes of elementary schools across Croatia through organised workshops with the topic of dangers of playing next to the tracks. From time to time, a campaign is organised, aimed at road vehicle drivers and pedestrians at critical level crossings or on newly secured level crossings in order to influence the awareness of drivers, but also to promote the efforts of HŽ Infrastruktura in increasing safety at level crossings. Around 300 or so drivers, cyclists and pedestrians yearly take part in this campaign.

(Source: HŽ Infrastruktura)

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