ILCAD: Would you run the risk at a level crossing?
Today (6 June 2019) is International Level Crossing Awareness Day and this year, ILCAD is focused on professional drivers to remind them that stopping for the red lights at a level crossing can be the most important stop of the day.
This International Level Crossing Awareness Day (ILCAD), Network Rail has revealed that more than one in five professional drivers would base decision on what to do at a level crossing on their knowledge of the train timetable. This admission was revealed in a survey commissioned by Network Rail for ILCAD.
A staggering 23 per cent of professional drivers have admitted that if they knew the train timetable and did not believe a train was due to arrive, they would drive over a level crossing.
The most common reasons cited for taking the risk was running late to make a delivery (12 per cent) or a desire to finish work and get home early (16 per cent).
This was despite an overwhelming majority of professional drivers knowing that all vehicles must stop for the warning lights at level crossings.
Britain has the safest railway in Europe but last year, Great Britain saw a seven per cent rise in the number of incidents at level crossings, causing over 93,000 minutes of delays to rail journeys.
Although professional drivers were responsible for roughly about 10 per cent of those incidents, they had greater impact resulting in just over 43,000 minutes of delay, almost half (46 per cent) of the total for the year.
Allan Spence, Head of passenger and public safety at Network Rail, said: “We know that professional drivers have a number of time pressures, but it is important to always act safely at level crossings to keep both themselves and others from harm.
“It’s really simple, every driver must wait for the flashing lights to stop before going across. It only takes one mistake – such as presuming when trains will run from the timetable – to cause an incident that can harm both you and people on trains. We’ve installed a number of safety measures at level crossings to minimise the risks, including enforcement cameras at various crossings around the country. No delivery is so important that it is worth risking your life or license for.”
This ILCAD Network Rail will be working with professional drivers across the nation, to remind them how to use level crossings safely. The network of level crossing safety managers will be at level crossings and working with companies with vehicle fleets, reminding professional drivers:
- Amber warning lights at road level crossings mean ‘Stop. A train is coming’
- Nobody is allowed to cross when the red lights flash – not even emergency services
- Wait for the all clear before proceeding to cross at a level crossing
- Never assume that there is only one train coming or think that they know the timetable to guess when a train might come
- Beware of distractions. Loud music may mean the driver doesn’t hear alarms at level crossings or an oncoming train.