Freight Railroads mark 4th annual International Level Crossing Awareness Day
The Association of American Railroads (AAR) joined with the international rail transportation community to raise awareness among motorists and pedestrians about the dangers of railroad grade crossings during the 4th annual International Level Crossing Awareness Day (ILCAD). Major U.S. freight railroads hosted ILCAD events across the U.S., while more than 42 countries and numerous international railroad organizations and companies hosted events worldwide with a focus on the common message: “Act safely at level crossings!” “For railroads, nothing is more important than the safety of our employees and the communities through which we operate,” said AAR President and CEO Edward R. Hamberger. “Grade crossing fatalities have declined 70 percent since 1980, but too many still occur which is why events such as International Level Crossing Awareness Day and government programs such as the Federal Highway Administration’s Section 130
program for states are critical to achieving the rail industry’s goal of zero fatalities.” In the U.S., freight railroads hosted grade crossing safety and awareness events and promotions in 16 states, including “Officer on a Train” where law enforcement officers were invited to ride on trains and observe motorist behavior at crossings; posted trains safety displays in stations; participated in local television shows and children’s programs; distributed literature about railroad safety and held a safety program targeting truck drivers in the Chicago area. U.S. railroads have led the international community in promoting grade crossing safety and spend several hundred million dollars each year to maintain grade crossings and to educate the public on grade crossing safety. Iinternational activities included a conference in Paris with rail and road stakeholders and behavioral experts that was broadcast around the world; an exhibition of posters produced from a worldwide contest for children on grade crossing safety and promotion of the “ILCAD 2012” video. The ILCAD Campaign was established in 2009 by the international railroad community in conjunction with various highway organizations, the European Commission and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), to raise awareness among road users and pedestrians of the risks at grade crossings. To date, more than 40 countries around the world have participated in ILCAD.