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Intl Level Crossing Awareness Day reminds public about dangers of grade crossings

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) joins with the rail transportation community from more than 40 countries in calling for increased education about and attention to the dangers surrounding level crossings, also known as grade crossings, during the 9th annual International Level Crossing Awareness Day (ILCAD). Such heightened focus is particularly important as schools across the U.S. close for the summer and travel season heats up. 

"For the freight rail industry, there is no higher priority than safety," said AAR President and CEO Edward R. Hamberger. "While federal data shows that grade crossing fatalities have been trending downward, there are still far too many fatalities that occur in and around crossings and the overwhelming majority of them are preventable. As the industry continues to focus on making level crossings safer, it also supports critical initiatives like International Level Crossing Awareness Day, which draw people's attention to the dangers of grade crossings and raise awareness about how to stay safe near tracks."

Four things to know on International Level Crossing Awareness Day

  • 95% of all rail-related deaths involve drivers going through a crossing or a person on the tracks
  • It can take more than a mile to stop a train.
  • The force of a train hitting a car equals the force of your car crushing a soda can.
  • Always stop, look, and listen when approaching tracks.

"When you see railroad track, automatically think train," added Hamberger. "We all have a role to play in keeping our communities safe."

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.