Tirana, 8 February – Regional public awareness campaign “It’s a Thin Line” was launched today in Albania in the presence of Deputy Minister of Infrastructure and Energy Mr Endrit Molla and the Transport Community Director Mr Matej Zakonjšek at the vocational school “Harry Fultz”.
In the Western Balkans, 61% of all accidents on intersections of rail and roads result in fatalities or severe injuries. In Albania, 12 persons lost their lives in the last eight years, and 43 were seriously injured. Campaign video, aiming to raise awareness about the dangers of the improper crossing of railway tracks, was shown to students and distributed to media outlets in the country.
“In Albania, there are more than 132 unauthorised level crossings which pose a permanent hazard for their users and the functioning of the railway system. 77 crossings are passive, meaning they only have only road signs, while 27 are active i.e. they have a mechanical system with metal barriers which are lowered when the train crosses. The good news is that during reconstruction of railway lines (sections Tirana – Durres , Tirana – Rinas Airport, Vore – Hani Hottit, Durres – Rrogozhine – Pogradec) almost all level crossings will be upgraded and a solution for the illegal ones can be found,” Director Zakonjšek was quoted as saying.
Transport Community Rail Action Plan highlights modernisation of the rail network infrastructure, as well as benefits of rail as a sustainable, smart, and safe mean of transport. The activities to improve safety of level crossings on the railway network in the Western Balkans consist of “soft” measures and infrastructure interventions (procurement and installation of safety equipment). Public awareness campaign is part of “soft” measures that aim to decrease the number of accidents on rail level crossings towards the “Vision Zero” by 2050.