By organizing educational ride in the museum train “Romantika” for children from primary schools in Belgrade, “Serbian Railways” joined many countries in the world, which mark today the International Level Crossing Awareness Day.
During the train ride to Topcider, the lecture on safety at level crossings was held for 220 children of lower grades of primary schools “Radojka Lakic” and “Isidora Sekulic” and informative material was also given to them. Today´s presentation was interactive in order to create proper communication with pupils and to achieve proper effect, and it represents only one of the series of lectures, which are being organized by Media Center “Serbian Railways” under the motto “Caution” Choose life!” for more than two years. The presentations were attended till now by almost 16 thousand of primary school children in 99 primary schools, in more than 40 cities in Serbia.
The young actors from the film “Montevideo, Bog te video” – Aleksandar Radojčić, Uroš Jovičić and Predrag Vasić, better known as Balerina, Nosonja and Stanoje, were keeping company and giving assistance in education of youngsters in the train.
During the day in every big railway station all around Serbia the informative material of Serbian Railways was given, but also the material provided by the International Union of Railways for all member countries, which were marking this day.
Today´s education and presentation, which are being prepared by Serbian Railways for more than two years, represent a part of the international campaign on rising of awareness of all traffic participants at level crossings, which is being organized for more than four years in more than forty countries around the world. By organizing different educational presentations and national programs, under the common motto “Act safely at level crossings”, 42 countries around the world have made contribution today to rising of awareness of all dangers in the case of irresponsible and inappropriate behavior of traffic participants.
According to statistical data of the expert services of “Serbian Railways”, the highest number of extraordinary incidents occurrednot only due to negligence, lack of concentration and non-observance of the traffic signs, but also due to irresponsible and insolent behavior of road traffic participants. When road vehicles drivers cross the rail, they usually don´t look at all and make risky and dangerous decision to pass by level crossing half-barriers, they don´t act in full according to traffic light signals, and drive over the rail although the traffic control device is engaged. It often happens that passenger vehicles get stuck on the track or they run off the road into rail zone. There are also many cases of arrogant and self-confident behavior of road vehicle drivers, who make risky and dangerous operations under alcohol influence.
In the previous 2011, there were 61 extraordinary events at level crossings. In these accidents 9 persons were killed and 33 were injured. During the first five months this year 23 extraordinary events at level crossings were registered, where 1 person was killed and eleven persons were injured.
The railway network of “Serbian Railways” includes 2 138 level crossings and all of them are properly secured (with road traffic signs and visibility triangle; traffic light signs; half-barriers and barriers with traffic light signs; direct traffic regulation at level crossings and specific measures in particular situations; fences or other devices at level crossings for pedestrians and cyclists). Only fifth of level crossings are secured with automatic devices, what is completely real after taking all economic and technological aspects into consideration, especially the installation price of an up to date automatic device, which can amount between €150 and €200 thousand.
Aware of time and investment that are necessary for the safety at level crossings, many railway administrations have seen the potential in education, media national campaigns and events such as the International Level Crossing Awareness Day. The practice showed that only with this kind of measures can influence awareness of all road traffic participants to act responsibly to themselves and to others, to follow all signs of road and railway traffic signalization and to be extremely cautious at level crossings because- BRAKING DISTANCE OF A TRAIN IS BETWEEN 700 AND 1000 METERS AND NO IMMEDIATE REACTION IS POSSIBLE! FOR THAT REASON,