Information published on 19 November 2014 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 424.

37 participants from 16 countries participated in the European Level Crossing Forum (ELCF) plenary meeting and ILCAD Task Force meeting on 13 and 14 November 2014 in Rome

  • Level Crossings

These meetings were hosted at the kind invitation of Mrs. Luciana Iorio (International Regulatory Affairs at the Italian Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, Department for Land Transport), Chairperson of the UNECE Working Party 1 on road traffic safety http://www.unece.org/index.php?id=32732#/and Mr. Massimo Costa, Expert at the Italian Railway Investigation Body.

On 13 November Mrs. Iorio Luciana welcomed 37 participants from 16 different countries. She introduced the UNECE Working Party 1 on road traffic safety and the Group of Experts on Level Crossing Safety (GE1) created at the joint initiative of UIC and UNECE and under the auspices of WP1 at UNECE in Geneva. She stressed that this GE1 is regarded as very important at the UN since it is a group of experts that has undergone a long procedure to be endorsed by different groups and high level authorities at the UN in Geneva. She reminded the meeting that Massimo Costa, Alan Davies, Isabelle Fonverne among other members of ELCF are also members of the GE1. This UNECE group is composed of level crossing experts from ELCF and UNECE member delegates who were invited to take part.

Mr. Alan Davies, ELCF Chairman and Mrs. Isabelle Fonverne, ELCF Secretary thanked the meeting’s hosts and recalled that the first ELCF meeting took place in 2005 in London, and that this meeting was the 16th meeting. He finally stressed the importance of such a group that was created to share best practices (LC) and outcomes of research on LC to improve safety. He welcomed all participants from the railways as well as from the Italian road safety authorities, the Italian Ministry of Transport, the Italian railway investigation body, RFI, psychologists, researchers from so many countries. He finally said: “Road safety has increased by 50% in Europe: 55,000 persons were killed on Europe’s roads in 2000 versus about 25,000 today. on average 300 people are killed each year at LCs in Europe. But this number has remained almost the same over the last few years. This group has been very useful to share the message of safety with the road sector and the public (through ILCAD).”
Participants had the opportunity to listen to presentations delivered by four Italian representatives:

Mrs. Laura Daidone (Italian Directorate for Road Safety). She is also a member of the UNECE Group of Experts on road signs and signals to review the Vienna Convention dated 1968. She presented the issue of road signs and signals at public level crossings in Italy.

Mr. Salvatore de Marco and Mr. Massimo Costa (Italian National Investigation Body) presented cases of private level crossings: the target of their investigation reports is to give recommendations to all stakeholders and avoid accidents from happening again.

Mr. Domenico Ronzano (RFI) gave a general presentation on the Italian railway network focusing on level crossings. 4914 LC (3945 public and 969 are private). He stressed the fact that the main reasons of collisions are the non respect of the Highway Code by road users and pedestrians.

Mr. Andrea Biava (ANSF: Italian National Railway Safety Agency) presented the significant accidents at LCs in Italy according to ERA’s definition. In 2009 they had the lowest rate of collisions at LCs, it may correspond to the introduction of penalising road users who do not respect the Highway Code in Italy. 98%-99% of collisions are external causes to the railways.

Mr. Florian Schramm (Berner & Mattner) introduced the subject of improving LC safety through satellite technologies through the ESA project “Saferail-Improving safety at Level Crossings”: http://artes-apps.esa.int/projects/saferail
He presented the feasibility study in which they have identified secondary lines in Austria on which they will equip trains with the satellite system and two level crossings to be tested. He invited participants to take part in ESA’s project and demonstration tests.

Mrs. Paulina Skladana (Czech Research Centre) presented the results of tests for three low cost measures carried out at level crossings aiming to improve pedestrian behaviour.

Mr. Alan Davies (RSSB and ELCF Chairman) presented the results of an RSSB research project carried out on the causes of pedestrian accidents at pedestrian and farm crossings in the UK. Summary: http://www.rssb.co.uk/library/research-development-and-innovation/research-brief-t984.pdf

Mrs. Tanja Cvorovic, Serbian Railways showed a video on misbehaviour consisting of images of CCTV cameras posted day and night at a level crossing in Serbia. She explained the general situation at level crossings in Serbia and finally informed the meeting of the floods in her country that impeded them from taking part in ILCAD 2014.

Mrs. Virginie Taillandier, RFF presented new solutions for pedestrian crossings and platform signage and barriers.

Mr. Gaëtan Van Overmeiren and Mr. Vincent Godeau (INFRABEL) presented trespassing issues at level crossings in Belgium and showed a TV spot used during the world cup at peak hours on TV: http://youtu.be/vATNTMlJAGk

Mr. Grigore Havarneanu, UIC, presented the final results of the Restrail EU funded project. He informed the meeting that there is a final report, a toolbox practical guide (distributed in the meeting) and a website available. Dissemination has been important as part of the strategy of the project. He reminded the audience that this project was coordinated by UIC and the objective is to reduce the number of trespassing accidents and suicides, mitigate measures, provide recommendations and guidance: http://www.restrail.eu/

Mr. Alan Davies gave a summary of the UNECE Group of Experts on the level crossing safety meeting that took place on 23 – 24/10 2014: visit
http://www.unece.org/trans/roadsafe/eg_level_crossings_03.html

The kick off meeting took place early in January, the second in May. The GE1 set up subgroups and launched a questionnaire last summer to which 22 countries responded. The group has another year to work. The next meeting is scheduled to be held from 29 – 30 January 2014 in Geneva.

Mrs. Luciana Iorio (Chairperson of the UNECE WP1) praised the efforts of this Group in which members are very active and work is very effective.

Mrs. Isabelle Fonverne gave an overview of the latest events related to railway safety (including level crossings):

She also reported on the results of a questionnaire on “collisions with powered two-wheelers at level crossings” launched lately and finally reported on the future IRU and UIC guidelines for the safe behaviour of professional drivers at level crossings, read: http://uic.org/com/uic-e-news/399

She asked for volunteers to work with her on pictograms to issue a common guideline with IRU which would be as international, readable as possible for professional drivers (taxi, bus, truck drivers) worldwide.

Finally ELCF members elected a new Chairman, Mr. Jeroen Nederlof/Prorail who will take over the duties of Mr. Alan Davies (RSSB). All ELCF members thanked Alan Davies very warmly for his involvement as chairman of this group over the last five years.

On 14 November, Isabelle Fonverne, UIC welcomed 30 participants in the ILCAD Task Force to present their campaigns organised during ILCAD 2014 in their respective countries (from one day to one week or more).

On behalf of Mrs. Martina Pavlikova (ZSR Communication Dept) excused, Daniela Detersova presented the “6th edition of the Slovak Railways ILCAD Awareness campaign 2014”. She showed an educational video made by ZSR, used by driving schools and in education sessions – see their website: http://www.zsr.sk/slovensky/media-room/vyjadrenia-pre-media-2014/jun/3.-jun-2014-medzinarodny-den-bezpecnosti-na-zeleznicnych-priecestiach.html?page_id=3101

Mr. Edgars Vilcans (PR Project Manager, LDZ) presented: “Social Marketing Activities to decrease the number of injured people and accidents on the railways”: for more info on the communication supports used and goodies distributed during the campaign visit http://www.dzirdiredzidzivo.lv/ ; http://youtu.be/9gVeiQwUuRI ; https://www.facebook.com/LatvijasDzelzcels

Mrs. Tine Verheyden (Project Leader, Infrabel) presented the project “New level crossing bells in Belgium: why and how and their awareness campaign “the sound that will save your life!”: http://www.belsignaal.be/ and in French: http://www.lesonquisauve.be/ plus the “Trespassing awareness campaign: “Your life is worth a detour!”: http://youtu.be/vATNTMlJAGk

Mrs. Virginie Taillandier (Level Crossing Programme Manager, RFF) presented the “RFF national awareness day during ILCAD 2014” which was the 7th edition for RFF. They selected a hedgehog as a mascot, they were very active nationwide on 3 June and also around the Tour de France. Watch different videos made on this occasion: http://www.rff.fr/fr ; http://youtu.be/9vxS-8y6KXE.
She finally reported on a national awareness campaign on safety on platforms and around trackshttp://youtu.be/wG_ZOipmIlg?list=PL_foZsEmOjt9xmuIc7uqWqspjDzz9rPPx

Mr. Tamo Vahemets (Chairman of the Board of Operation Lifesaver Estonia) presented the campaign targeting cyclists being distracted: “Get off the bike, take off your headphones and let the train pass! Read more: http://ole.ee/category/news/

Mrs. Kerryanne Delbridge (Communication Manager, Network Rail) presented the UK campaign “ILCAD 2014 and professional drivers, success and thoughts on the future direction of ILCAD using digital awareness through digital communications”. She presented the evolution in the use of social networks by companies or on a private basis over the last decade demonstrating that the use of facebook, twitter or linkedIn to communicate on any campaign is now vital, if not you may miss users and targets.

Mr. Paulo de Melo and Mrs. Susana Abrantes from REFER gave an overview on what REFER had done on 3 June, the press conference and round table hosted by REFER in Lisbon to launch ILCAD 2014 which was the 6th edition for REFER. They wrote common safety messages in both languages on 3 June to give an international dimension to the campaign. Rail, journalists, governments, State Secretary, municipalities, road safety authorities and police forces were invited. Susana Abrantes said: “Hosting ILCAD in Portugal was very important for us both internally as well as on a national level. The audience was very impressed to see that this issue was not only Portuguese but international”. For more info read:
http://uic.org/com/uic-e-news/403

On behalf of Mr. Martial Manfred Missimikim, CEO & Founder SECUROUTE, Mrs. Isabelle Fonverne presented ILCAD 2014 in Cameroon:
http://www.ilcad.org/Cameroun,261.html155 level crossings; 58 collisions between 2011 and 2013 (22 per year in average) 14 fatalities (2011-2013). They handed out safety flyers, used ILCAD posters, billboards, banners, on the streets, at level crossings with the cooperation of Camrail, put stickers on motorbikes, trucks and cars in Douala and other main cities of the country.

Mr. Missimikim was invited to “ONE DAY ONE EVENT” – a well known TV programme in Cameroon – to talk about level crossing safety in his country, which was broadcast throughout Africa.

Finally Mrs. Isabelle Fonverne, UIC gave a general overview of what happened worldwide during ILCAD 2014 and made proposals to the participants to prepare ILCAD 2015: new theme to address, new public to target, new posters, new video and announced that ILCAD 2015 would be officially launched on 3 June in Istanbul, with a press conference and a round table to be hosted by TCDD.

She made a call for papers for this conference on the following issues around level crossing safety: Engineering, Innovative Technologies, Enforcement Education, Inspection, Human Factors, User Behaviour, please contact: fonverne@uic.org

The public to target in 2015 will be: pedestrians as a whole (dog walkers, joggers, young distracted persons, elderly people, horse riders…) and cyclists.

See you on 3 June. Please contact: fonverne@uic.org; and visit: www.ilcad.org