There were 45 accidents at level crossings in Belgium in 2019. 17 of them, accounting for more than one third of the total number, occurred at a level crossing in a port area. Unfortunately, this means an increase compared to the previous years. This increase was noticed in Antwerp, Zeebrugge and Ghent. And the consequences can be severe: in addition to being life-threatening, accidents at level crossings also cause major material damage and delays to freight traffic, with major economic consequences.
That is why, on 30 November, we will be launching a campaign for more safety at level crossings in our port areas, specifically aimed at truck drivers. The message of our campaign is clear: Red = stop! Indeed, figures show that in 80% of accident cases, drivers did not respect the red light.
Notifications on your smartphone
At the same time, we are aware that the traffic situation in the ports is not always easy and clear: there is heavy traffic with many trucks, there are numerous level crossings, most of which are without barriers, sometimes even without traffic lights. That is why we joined forces with Waze and Flitsmeister and Coyote to warn drivers when approaching a level crossing.
How does this work? We published the GPS coordinates of all level crossings in Belgium on our Open Data platform. This data is freely available, allowing developers of navigation apps to integrate it for free. This way, Waze and Flitsmeister can send their users a notification when they approach a level crossing. With this additional warning we want to help drivers to stay extra alert near level crossings and thus increase road safety.
As in previous years, we have chosen to organize the campaign during the shortest days of the year, when visibility is limited due to the sometimes bad weather conditions. This year, unlike previous editions, the campaign is entirely digital. Unfortunately, due to the current corona crisis, we cannot organize any on-site actions in the 3 ports.
From 30 November to 4 December, our campaign can be seen on different social media, as well as through our partner’s media channels. After all, this campaign was possible thanks to the good cooperation with all of our partners: Port of Antwerp, MBZ Port of Zeebrugge, North Sea Port (Ghent), Combinant, ICO, APZI, Stukwerkers, Waze, Flitsmeister en Coyote.
- 1700 level crossings in Belgium
- 45 accidents in 2019
- 17 accidents in a port area
- 12 in Antwerp
- 4 in Zeebrugge
- 1 in Ghent-Zeehaven
- In 80% of the cases: red light nog respected
- 6540 minuten delay