A level crossing is an interface between road and rail infrastructure. According to the 1968 UNECE Convention on Road Traffic and the Highway Code, trains have priority, whilst road users and pedestrians must comply with road signs and signals in order to cross safely and consequently prevent any collision arising from misuse or inappropriate behaviour and potentially endangering train passengers, crew and other users.
Using a level crossing is safe as long as users cross properly. Nevertheless, risks still exist and the consequences of a collision between a train and a commercial vehicle can be dramatic. Global freight and passenger traffic, both road and rail, have increased markedly in recent decades, thereby also increasing the risk of collisions at level crossings.
The International Union of Railways (UIC), the International Road Federation (IRF), two worldwide road and rail associations, plus Operation Lifesaver Estonia (OLE), have decided to join forces to raise awareness about level crossing safety amongst light vehicle drivers and thus contribute to the reduction of collisions and related casualties.
The three organisations have jointly developed two dedicated safety flyers (one for 2-wheel-light-motorised vehicles and one for 4-wheel-light-motorised vehicles), available below in English, French, and Spanish. Both flyers do not necessarily cover every situation that may arise when drivers of light vehicles use a level crossing, but they will certainly raise awareness on how to avoid the risks that may lead to a collision.
The International Road Federation (IRF) is a global, independent, not-for-profit organisation with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. Active since 1948, IRF is a membership-based organisation, representing leading corporate and institutional players drawn from the road and mobility sectors worldwide. Its mission is to promote the development of roads and road networks that enable access and sustainable mobility for all. Its approach is centred on key strategic components of knowledge transfer & information sharing, connecting people, businesses, and organisations, and working on policy & advocacy.
The International Union of Railways (UIC) is a global not-for-profit association founded in 1922 and based in Paris representing the railway sector and promoting rail transport.
Operation Lifesaver Estonia (OLE) is an international, non-profit education and awareness programme dedicated to ending tragic collisions, fatalities and injuries at highway-rail grade crossings and on railroad rights of way. To accomplish its mission, Operation Lifesaver promotes the 3 Es: Education, Enforcement and Engineering.