Rail Safety Week
April 24, 2016
Every year, approximately 100 Canadians die or suffer serious injuries on railway tracks that they should not be on. There are some 16,000 public highway-railway crossings in Canada and most collisions occur within 40 km of the person’s home.
Last year in Canada there were 270 accidents resulting in 45 fatalities from collisions between trains and the general public, either involving vehicles at public crossing or pedestrians taking short cuts across the railway tracks. So far in 2016, there has already been 47 reported accidents resulting in 11 fatalities. These accidents have profound and long lasting effects on the survivors and families of those killed and injured by these accidents, as well as the train crew that operates the trains.
Unifor National Council 4000 represent Locomotive Engineers and Conductors who operate CN trains in northwestern Alberta. They not only witness reckless acts of the general public at railway tracks and crossings, but they also live the accidents when they occur. They are often the first responders to the victims of these accidents, all of which are preventable through public awareness and education.
In recognizing the importance of preventing accidents and potential injuries at railway rights-of-way, Operation Lifesaver was created. Operation Lifesaver is a non-profit, international public education program first established in the United States in 1972 to end collisions, deaths and injuries at highway-rail grade crossings and on railroad rights-of-way.
Operation Lifesaver began operating in Canada as a public education program, jointly funded by Transport Canada and the Railway Association of Canada in 1981. Through partnerships with provincial safety councils, police, railways, the trucking industry, community groups and labour organizations, Operation Lifesaver is dedicated to saving lives by educating Canadians about the hazards surrounding highway/railway crossings and trespassing on railway property.
Operation Lifesaver spreads its motto of “Look, Listen and Live” through its many year-long initiatives that complement the annual public "Rail Safety Week".
For the past 14 years, the partners of Operation Lifesaver have held Rail Safety Week, aimed at building safety awareness around Canadian railway operations. This year, Rail Safety Week runs from April 25 to May 1, 2016.
For more information on Rail Safety Week and Operation Lifesaver, click on the links below:
The above video is targeted at professional truck drivers as part of their continuing educational requirements and highlights the five most common situations they face when coming into proximity with railroad grade crossings.