The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today announced the nation s railroads have joined the international rail community in helping to raise public awareness about safe behavior around railroad grade crossings in observance of International Level Crossing Awareness Day (ILCAD). North America s freight railroads will host more than 60 events in 21 states over the course of the next week to raise public awareness with pedestrians and motorists around this important safety issue. Safety is at the core of everything railroads do, and supporting International Level Crossing Awareness Day is just one more way to help educate the public about safe behaviors around railroads and grade crossings, said AAR President and CEO Edward R.
Hamberger. Last year was yet another record year for railroad safety. We hope to continue that progress by working with communities to instill safe behaviors with motorists and pedestrians around grade crossings.
Across North America, freight railroads, community leaders, law enforcement and Operation Lifesaver are hosting grade crossing safety awareness events and conducting promotional outreach in 21 states. This includes things such as: Officer on a Train rides where law enforcement officers are invited to ride on trains and observe motorist behavior at crossings; Trains safety displays in passenger and commuter rail stations; Participation in local television shows and children s programs, and Distribution of literature about railroad safety and a safety program targeting truck drivers. Railroads have worked with communities and law enforcement to promote grade crossing safety and commit significant resources each year to educate the public on grade crossing and pedestrian safety.
This has resulted in a reduction in grade crossing collisions and fatalities over the years, with grade crossing collisions down 81 percent since 1980 and grade crossing fatalities down 71 percent since 1980. Grade crossing infrastructure improvements also help improve safety. Since 1980, the total number of public grade crossings has declined 39 percent, and the number of crossings with gates has increased 174 percent.
The ILCAD Campaign was established in 2009 by the international railroad community in conjunction with various highway organizations, the European Commission and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), to raise awareness among road users and pedestrians of the risks at grade crossings.
To date, more than 40 countries around the world have participated in ILCAD.