On 8th July, the debriefing meeting of the “European Level Crossing Awareness Day” (ELCAD) task force took place in the premises of Infrabel in Brussels. The task force created by the European Level Crossing Forum (ELCF) is composed of national experts from both road and rail sectors from almost all European countries, the European rail associations CER and EIM as well as representatives from a number of European instances including the European Commission and the European Transport Safety Council amongst others. The meeting was chaired by Simon Fletcher, Coordinator Europe from the UIC Brussels office.
The objective of the meeting was to take stock on all the 27 national awareness measures that had taken place on 25th June, assess collective and individual results and share the information to improve future actions regarding safety and education at level crossings.
Each of the participants gave an overview of their national events and an evaluation of its effectiveness by focusing on targeted groups, partners involved and costs. Liesbeth de Jong from the UIC communication department reported on the DG TREN press conference that took place at the European Commission headquarters (see e-news 142) and highlighted the media impact and success of the event in Europe and beyond. A “press book” summarising the media impact is being prepared.
A focal point on the agenda was ensuring consistency, coherence and visibility of the ELCAD task force and its next steps. Ilyas Daoud, Project Coordinator at UIC Brussels, underlined the importance of signing the European Road Safety Charter, following the example set by the UIC/CER/EIM joint signature in March, to demonstrate their commitment to reducing level crossing accidents. The signing will take place at the next ELCF plenary meeting on 28th October at UIC headquarters in Paris.
Everyone recognised the need to continue the Awareness Campaign at national, European and international level and agreed that the fourth week of June in the years to come will be dedicated to European Level Crossing Awareness Measures. “ELCAD 2010” will take place on 22nd June.
The members particularly welcomed the active participation of Argentina and Israel amongst non-European partners in ELCAD 2009 and the support of Canada, Japan, South Africa and the United States and look forward further develop joint actions for the next event giving it a truly international dimension as Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director General, mentioned at DG Tren press conference as well.
A draft project is being prepared to create a European video clip and other European awareness actions in cooperation with the European Commission which was a key partner in ELCAD 2009. This video clip would be displayed in all European countries involved in the project.
The next meeting of this task force will be held on 10 December 2009 in Brussels and will be dedicated amongst other things to developing the international dimension of ELCAD and its related projects.