The idea of “Safe railroad level crossing...” social campaign was born in 2005. For the first four years, it was happening only during the summer. Its main goal was always to create correct foundations for every traffic participant. This is still true today. Since 2009, we have been trying to make people aware of the consequences of not following the regulations throughout the entire year. We joined also a European project uniting the countries, which deal with their railroad crossings safety. As a result, in 2011 Poland hosted central celebrations of “ILCAD 2011” - International Level Crossing Awareness Day.
Since the October of 2012, the campaign covers also the education regarding the problem of “wild passages” – people crossing the tracks in prohibited places. Due to this behavior, every year over one hundred people are killed and dozens more are injured.
We put stress on education
In the course of the first 10 years of running the campaign under the “Stop and Live!” slogan, we concentrated primarily on drawing the attention to the tragic results of a crash with a train. It was accompanied by numerous simulations, TV and radio spots as well as educational activities among the youngest. Since 2015 the campaign’s message has changed – main burden of communication has been shifted towards education of the drivers, shaping wise behaviors on the roads and making them follow the regulations regarding the railroad crossings. Thus, a new slogan has been implemented – “Don’t risk it!”.
Although the number of railroad crossings accidents and collisions in Poland is going down, there are still too many such incidents. In 2018 there were 205 incidents reported (26 less than in 2013). According to the statistics, nearly 99 percent of the accidents and collisions on the railroad crossings, were caused by drivers’ lack of caution or ignoring the signs. We are constantly trying to work on this great problem with the intention of lowering the number of railroad crossings accidents.
We gave the floor to the Ambassadors of Safety
In 2019, women became the ambassadors of the campaign. Mothers, wives, daughters, sisters, grandmas or aunts teach the Poles about the wise and safe behavior in the railway areas. We let them speak, so that we could explain the rules together, as following them guarantees safety on tracks for drivers and pedestrians. The Ambassadors of Safety have become key element of our fight for a better and safer future. They appear in TV spots, materials for children, apps and printed materials. We jointly encourage everyone to behave reasonably and follow the rules in the area of railroad crossings and passages. Slogans such as “Don’t rush”, “Follow the rules”, “Be careful on the tracks” is much more meaningful for drivers and pedestrians when delivered by the Ambassadors of Safety. We can see, right before our eyes, all the situations when our mother’s, wife’s or grandma’s reason saved us from tragedy. When their wisdom brought us back to the right path. The ambassadors’ voice used in the “Safe railroad level crossing...” campaign constitutes also a signpost turning us back from the narrow and unsafe path of recklessness and stupidity to the wide highway leading to safety on tracks.
Awards and honorable mentions
In 2008, the campaign won the 1st prize during the PR congress in Rzeszów. One year later, the activities of the campaign were recognized and were awarded with the 2nd place in the Nationwide Initiative category in Orlen’s “Bezpieczne drogi” [Safe Roads] competition. In 2011, we won an award in the MediaKreator contest in the category of marketing communication and public relation campaign. We also received a nomination in the “Partner Bezpieczeństwa Drogowego 2011” [Road Safety Partner] contest. On February 5th, 2015, PKP Polskie Linie Kolejowe S.A. were recognized for their actions in improving road safety within the European Road Safety Charter. It is the biggest civil platform regarding road traffic safety, run by the European Commission. The award took into account PLK’s actions aiming at increasing safety on railroad crossings in Poland. On November 25th, 2016, the President of the Office of Rail Transport and the Deputy Minister of Infrastructure and Construction presented the awards and honorable mentions to the rail companies and people who were particularly involved in the implementation of activities, with the main purpose to increase rail safety. PKP Polskie Linie Kolejowe S.A. and their social campaign “Szlaban na ryzyko!” [No to the risk!] became one of the laureates of the “Kultura bezpieczeństwa w transporcie kolejowym” [Safety Culture in Rail Transport] competition organized by the Office of Rail Transport. On October 10th, 2019, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Development hosted a conference – “Społeczne Wyzwania Biznesu” (Social Challenges in Business), during which the Deputy Minister of Infrastructure and Development gave awards to the representatives of companies and institutions carrying out the most important social projects of the last 30 years. “Safe railroad level crossing...” campaign by PKP Polskie Linie Kolejowe S.A. was amongst the honorably mentioned projects.
In December 2019, the campaign received 3 more awards: Brązowy Spinacz ("Bronze Clip"), awarded as part of the "Złote Spinacze" competition, conducted by the Public Relations Companies Association - for the "Locomotive versus car" project, and 2 awards in the “Kultura bezpieczeństwa w transporcie kolejowym” [Safety Culture in Rail Transport] competition - an award for the #ŻółtaNaklejkaPLK project in the "system solution" category and the audience award.
Rush, recklessness and lack of reason are the biggest killers on the railway tracks. We fight for what is priceless: people’s live and health.
Our campaign is not just about the noble ideas, but most of all about the regular actions, which raise the awareness among the drivers and pedestrians.