An Infrabel Safety Campaign – supported by seven different partners including SNCB – to raise the awareness of truck drivers at level crossings in the Port of Antwerp, took place on 10 and 11 April 2013 at MSC Home Terminal, the largest container terminal in the Port.
Around 25 journalists from the written press, local and national television attended the Infrabel press conference, opened on 10 April 2013 by Frédéric Petit, Infrabel Spokesman at the Port of Antwerp.
Frédéric Petit gave the key figures for 2012:
- 1 100 km of railway lines in the Port of Antwerp.
- 1857 level crossings on the Belgian rail network including 201 only in the Port of Antwerp.
- 52 accidents at level crossings on the Belgian rail network including 14 only in the Port of Antwerp, representing 30% of all accidents at level crossings on the Belgian rail network: average of 15 accidents in the Port from 2005 to 2012.
- 13 fatalities on the Belgian rail network
He also mentioned an enquiry which showed that truck drivers regularly cross level crossings too quickly; do not even notice level crossings; or ignore level crossing road signs and signals.
He added that collisions between trucks and freight trains may have enormous consequences: physical injuries (both train driver and truck driver!), material damage, and delays in freight traffic resulting in economic losses.
This is why Infrabel decided to launch this campaign with the cooperation of the Port of Antwerp and the support of the transport sector (transport federations and unions) – targeting truck drivers and businesses in and around the Port to make them aware of the dangers of level crossings and the existing road signs and signals to respect. Infrabel sent information to 500 companies in and around the Port. Infrabel issued posters and flyers in five different languages (French, Dutch, German, English and Polish) covering 98% of truck drivers’ mother tongues. These flyers were distributed to around 2000 truck drivers over two days from 6 am to 6 pm. The Port of Antwerp has also installed five warning signs (level crossing: red light + bell = stop!)
After the press conference participants finally had the opportunity to watch a CCTV film showing bad behaviour at level crossings in the Port of Antwerp, and also observe the real behaviour of truck drivers at a level crossing in the Port where most collisions happen. They were able to see the reaction of truck drivers when the red light flashed and the bell went off at that crossing to signal the arrival of a freight train.
According to Tine Verheyden, Infrabel partners and truck drivers have been very enthusiastic about their initiative. While distributing flyers, Infrabel received a considerable – mostly positive – amount of feedback from truck drivers.
More information about INFRABEL campaign: