The Antwerp port area has quite a number of level crossings, many of which have no barrier. Unfortunately, accidents continue to occur every year at these level crossings in the port area. Hence it is high time for us to run an awareness-raising campaign again this year, to draw attention to the various issues related to respecting traffic signalling at level crossings. Since most of the traffic in the port area consists of lorries, Infrabel is specifically targeting lorry drivers with this campaign.
In practical terms, we are launching a new awareness-raising campaign in the heart of the Port of Antwerp on Monday morning 10 December 2018. The end of the year is the ideal time to organise an awareness-raising campaign, especially because visibility is very limited at this time (days are getting shorter) and there is bad weather to contend with (snow, sleet, low sun, etc.).
Campaign in port terminals on 10, 11 and 12 December
The on-site campaign is being organised at two of the port terminals (MPET & Combinant), the ideal location to reach our target group. The goal is to draw their attention to the importance of the red lights at level crossings by setting up a symbolic campaign in the terminal car park: cleaning the windscreens of trucks (as a symbol of the concerted efforts by Infrabel and its partners to improve the visibility of the signs in the ports).
It is also a good opportunity to strike up a discussion with the drivers on the matter of safety and the need to stop at red lights. The drivers in question will also receive a pair of sunglasses bearing our safety message. The idea behind these sunglasses is to reiterate the link between the problems caused by the low sun and the fact that this means that the traffic signals are not always easy to see.
Campaign online and via our partners
Naturally, the campaign will also be conducted online. During our campaign period we will be using social media and we will be trying to put our message across on all our partners’ media channels with the help of the various professional federations and the Port of Antwerp.
Press conference on 10 December
To lend force to the campaign we are scheduling a press conference, which we are organising in Combinant on 10 December.
Last year, one out of three accidents at a level crossing happened in the port area (18 out of 51). 84% of the accidents were due to truck drivers’ failing to comply with the signalling at level crossings. The signs are not always clearly visible but sometimes it comes down to the human factor: the drivers see the red lights flashing, but decide to quickly cross the level crossing anyway. The consequences of these accidents are obviously huge: damage (both material and emotional), economic impact, delays on goods traffic, etc.