Operation Lifesaver, Inc., (OLI) and the Association of American Railroads (AAR) are among those in the global rail community marking International Level Crossing Awareness Day (ILCAD) on June 10.
The annual campaign’s objective: to improve worldwide awareness of the dangers surrounding level highway/rail grade crossings. In 2021, it focuses on the role distractions—particularly from mobile devices—can play in grade crossing and pedestrian incidents.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 95% of all rail-related deaths—including those stemming from drivers going around warning devices or people walking on tracks—are preventable.
The international railroad community in conjunction with various highway organizations, the European Commission and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) established the ILCAD campaign in 2009. It has been spearheaded by the UIC.
“More than 40 countries, including the United States, observe ILCAD to call worldwide attention to the important issue of safety at railroad crossings,” OLI Executive Director Rachel Maleh said. “This year’s ILCAD focuses on the role distractions can play in crossing and pedestrian rail incidents. Our ‘Near Miss’ campaign for pedestrians and distraction video for new drivers underscore the importance of avoiding distraction near railroad tracks and trains.
“OLI and its programs in states throughout the U.S. are proud to be part of this year’s observance. I am pleased to join safety leaders from around the world at this year’s virtual ILCAD launch conference on June 10 to discuss efforts to educate drivers and pedestrians about staying safe at crossings and near railroad rights-of-way.”
AAR President and CEO Ian Jefferies issued this statement: “Together, we can prevent tragedies on the tracks. As railroads continue to improve the safety of grade crossings, initiatives like International Level Crossings Day are vital to ensuring the public knows how to stay safe near the tracks. Every time you see railroad tracks, stop, look and listen.”