“International Level Crossing Awareness Day” being Observed on 7th May

Every year, UIC (International Union of Railways) observes o­ne day as the International Level Crossing Awareness Day (ILCAD). This year, 7th May, 2013 is being observed as ILCAD. South Central Railway is participating in this global campaign to sensitize road users to enhance safety at level crossings. The International Level Crossing Awareness Day focuses o­n educational measures and promotion of safe behavior at and around level crossings.

The number of accidents at unmanned level crossings occurring o­n Indian Railways is a matter of concern. As o­n 1st April, 2013, there are 2122 level crossings over South Central Railway, out of which 705 are unmanned level crossings, where the accidents occur primarily due to inadequate precautions by the road users like failing to observe the mandatory signboards, and basic traffic safety rules as per the Motor Vehicles Act.

Special Safety Drive:South Central Railway launches a seven days long Special Safety Drive especially targeting safety at unmanned level crossings from 7thto 13th May, 2013 with a view to eradicate accidents at unmanned level crossings. The drive focuses o­n organizing public awareness campaigns to educate and counsel the road users and make them aware of the relevant provisions related to safe crossing of Level Crossings such as:-

Organizing safety Seminars at various places in the Divisions including Road Transport offices and Educational institutions.
Checking the whistling habits of Loco Pilots while approaching the level crossings by deputing officers and supervisors in the first coach immediately after the Locos of the trains.
Joint ambush checks involving Railway Protection Force, Government Railway Police & Civil Authorities at the level crossings to apprehend errant road users u/s of Motor Vehicle Act.
Ensuring availability of speed breakers whistle boards, road signs and stop boards etc. at LCs
South Central Railway has formulated a Safety Action Plan to eliminate all the unmanned Level Crossings by FY 2016 through various measures such as replacement of Unmanned Level Crossings with Limited Height Subways, suitable road diversions and manning of Unmanned Level Crossing etc. During the last years, 168 Unmanned Level Crossings have been eliminated in SCR. Apart from elimination of Unmanned Level Crossings, a large number of campaigns / programs are also being organized.

Cooperation from all Road Vehicle users is solicited in following the safety procedures while crossing unmanned level crossings. The simple act of stopping and looking out for any approaching train in both directions and then crossing the track in a safe manner at unmanned level crossings will avoid any scope for accident. Alertness and caution o­n the part of road users is of prime importance to achieve zero accidents at level crossings.


Railways to educate people on unmanned level crossings

The Indian Railway will launch Tuesday a 7-day safety drive to educate people on negotiating unmanned level crossings.

“The number of unmanned level crossing accidents occurring on Indian Railways is a cause of concern,” said a railway ministry statement, adding that out of 35,363 the railway’s level crossings, 17,954 are unmanned, giving rise to accidents, primarily due to inadequate precautions by the road users.

It said that though the train accidents at unmanned level crossings have marginally reduced in last five years – from 65 in the year 2005-06 to 62, the fatalities in level crossing accidents accounted for nearly 74 percent of all train accident fatalities in India in 2009-10.

The launch of 7-day safety drive is to coincide the International Level Crossing Awareness Day (ILCAD), which the International Union Of Railways has slated for June 22 this year.

The Indian Railway is presently engaged in building road over bridges and under bridges besides limited-height sub-ways at busy railway crossings to enhance their safety, the statement said, adding that it built a total of 249 over or under bridges and subways in 2009-10.

It will build many more such bridges and subways in fiscal 2010-11, the statement said.