Tuesday 30 June 2009
Safety / Level crossings

Safety at level crossings.

On 25 June, “European Level Crossing Awareness Day” events were held in 28 European countries and several other regions around the world. A view from Portugal

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On 25 June, the Portuguese railway companies (Refer, CP) and public and transport authorities held a conference at the Belem Cultural Centre in Lisbon to mark “European Level Crossing Awareness Day” (ELCAD) and present Portugal’s ambitious campaign to improve safety at level crossings and raise awareness amongst citizens of the risks associated with unsafe behaviour at the interface between road and rail.

The speakers at this “European Awareness Day” were Luis Filipe Pardal, President of the Board of Refer, the Portuguese railway infrastructure manager; Paul Véron, UIC Director of Communications who presented the challenges and objectives of the European Awareness Day on Safety at Level Crossings, a strategy and campaign prepared in close cooperation with the European Commission, the European Railway Agency (ERA), the European Level crossing Forum (ELCF) and the European railway associations CER and EIM; Dr. Susana Abrantes from Refer’s Image and Communications Department, who presented the Portuguese communications and awareness campaign; and Antonio Viana, Refer Director responsible for level crossings and related issues.

During the event, the President of Refer signed the “European Road Safety Charter”.

In her closing speech, Mrs. Ana Paula Vitorino, the Portuguese Secretary of State for Transport, underlined the Portuguese government’s willingness to address this issue with concrete and effective measures in order to significantly reduce the number of fatalities at level crossings in her country.

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From left to right : Luis Filipe Pardal, President of Refer, Railway infrastructure manager of Portugal, signing the European Road Safety Charter, Paul Véron, Director of Communications, UIC, Mrs. Ana Paula Vitorino, Secretary of State for Transport, Portugal, and Alfredo Vicente Pereira, Vice President of Refer