Tuesday 24 September 2013
Safety / Level Crossings

6th national awareness campaign on level crossing safety in 12 different regions of France

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  • 6th RFF national awareness campaign
  • 18000 level crossings in France
  • 130 collisions in 2012 (causing 33 fatalities, 10 severely injured persons)
  • 30 level crossings removed in 2012
  • 50% fewer fatalities and 40% fewer collisions within 10 years

Today, 24 September 2013, Réseau Ferré de France (RFF), one of ILCAD’s partners since 2009, launched the 6th national awareness campaign on level crossing safety in 12 different regions of France and in two main cities.

The campaign, organised by Réseau Ferré de France, RFF with the support of the Ministry of Energy Sustainable Development and Transport (DGITM)], the Ministry of the Interior, the Road Safety Authorities (Délégation de la Sécurité et de la circulation routière: DSCR), in collaboration with local authorities, the Prévention Routière (APR) (Road Safety Association) and SNCF started at 8 am at 10 pre-selected level crossings in France, including the level crossing N°16 in Limay in the west Parisian region. There are about 18000 level crossings in France. In 2012 there were 130 collisions (causing 33 fatalities, 10 severely injured persons). This level crossing was chosen because it is situated close to a railway station, in an urban area with heavy road traffic with 4000 vehicles a day and heavy railway traffic with 82 trains a day plus many pedestrians using the crossing.

From early morning 300 volunteers from the Association Prévention Routière (APR), RFF, SNCF informed road users and pedestrians on the road safety rules when using level crossings and handed them over safety flyers and a questionnaire called “Objective vigilance” that may be filled in at http://www.securite-passageaniveau.fr/ .
Later a press conference was organised close to that level crossing and was opened by Mr Jacques Rapoport, RFF President, Mr Eric Roulot, Mayor of Limay and
Mr Thomas Le Quellec (APR). They officially launched the campaign “Objective vigilance” on internet on the RFF dedicated twitter page: https://twitter.com/Passagesaniveau (#SRPN) and on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/journee.nationale.passage.a.niveau?fref=ts on which RFF will be spreading their key safety message “Objective: vigilance, on the tracks, danger is faster than you” for three weeks from 24 September.

Mr Rapoport said that RFF has been organising such a campaign since 2008 to make the public aware of the dangers of level crossings. This campaign organised on a national level in 2008 became European and then global with the International Level Crossing Awareness Day “ILCAD” coordinated by UIC. He also reiterated the main actions of RFF and its partners to improve safety at level crossings: prevention, education, enforcement (41 radars until now, 30 new radars will be set up in the very near future, for information, in France: trespassing a red flashing light costs 135 euros and a loss of 4 points on the driving licence) finally upgrading or closing level crossings. He also talked about the publication today of a governmental plan “on safety at level crossings” by the Ministry of Energy, Sustainable Development and Transport (DGITM).

Mr Roulot, Mayor of Limay, reminded those present of the very sad accident that happened in 2011 when a young 10-year old child zigzagged between the two semi barriers and was hit by a train. He is thus most satisfied today to announce that this level crossing has been put on the list of level crossings to be removed first on the national network. Work should start from 2014 and be completed in 2016 thanks to the support of RFF and the local authorities. In the meantime actions raising awareness will be continuing.

Finally on Sunday RFF and its partners will meet the public in two major French cities (Chalon-sur-Saône and Marseille on 29 September) to distribute safety flyers and a questionnaire to be filled in immediately or on their website.

For more information please visit: http://www.securite-passageaniveau.fr/

For further information please contact Isabelle Fonverne: fonverne@uic.org and for RFF: matthieu.bejot@rff.fr

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From left to right: Jacques Rapoport, RFF President, Eric Roulot, Mayor of Limay, Thomas Le Quellec (Association Prévention Routière - Road Safety Association)