The Safer Level Crossing by Integrating and Optimising Road-Rail Infrastructure Management and Design project (Safer-LC), coordinated by the International Union of Railways (UIC), was one of three safety improvement projects that received funding in 2016 through the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.  

The results from the project, which was launched on May 1 2017, were presented during a final conference held online on April 22.

“The results achieved are particularly interesting and effective for the stakeholders both in the rail and road environment,” says UIC director general, Mr François Davenne. “The results take the shape of a toolbox, designed to help decision makers increase safety at level crossings through practical recommendations. Moreover, it will enable policymakers and stakeholders to select and implement the most appropriate strategies, measures and cost-effective approaches to make level crossings safer for all road user types.”

Nearly 300 people die each year in accidents at level crossings across the EU. Mr Vojtech Ekser from the European Union Agency for Railways (ERA) explains that driver distractions have become more prominent with the explosion of technology used in daily life.

The toolbox has been designed as a web-based platform that will be updated by the UIC. UIC senior research advisor, Mr Grigore Havarneanu, says the toolbox can be used as a decision support tool which groups several assessment methodologies as well as a wide range of cost-effective safety measures, accompanied by study results.

The measures can be sorted using various criteria including type or users and level crossing, costs and effect mechanism, which can help end-users find the most appropriate measure for a specific context. Each measure is presented through a short description, the potential benefits, recommendations, study results, main psychological functions involved, documents, related measures, a gallery of examples, and a comments section.