Operation Lifesaver (OL) is dedicated to preventing collisions at railway crossings and railway trespassing incidents in Canada. We believe the key to achieving this goal is public education.
Funded by the Railway Association of Canada and Transport Canada, we work with the rail industry, governments, law enforcement, labour groups, the media, and other organizations and communities from coast to coast to increase awareness about rail safety—because we believe rail safety is a shared responsibility.
Our dedicated staff and Rail Safety Ambassadors across the country educate Canadians of all ages through rail safety presentations to schools, youth clubs, driver associations, snowmobile and ATV clubs and other community groups.
By working together, we are making Canadians more aware of the hazards around railway property—and saving lives in the process.
Each year, more than a hundred Canadians die or suffer serious injuries as a result of trespassing incidents on railway property or collisions at crossings.
By educating Canadians about the hazards surrounding railway property and trains, we are trying to prevent railway crossing and trespassing incidents that can lead to serious injuries or even death—because we believe even one incident is one too many.
But rail safety is a shared responsibility. Changing behaviour around railway property—and saving lives—takes:
That is why we work with the rail industry, governments, law enforcement, labour groups, the media, and other organizations and communities to educate Canadians about safe behaviour around railway property, tracks and trains.
Our success lies in our ability to reach Canadians of all ages and make them aware of the dangers surrounding railway crossings, as well as the serious risks associated with trespassing on railway property. To this end, we participate in various events, produce and distribute educational material, run driver education programs, hold safety presentations, and spread the rail safety message through traditional media and social media networks.
Back in 1981, Canada’s railway companies joined forces with federal, provincial and municipal governments across the country to come up with a concrete plan to improve rail safety. The result was Operation Lifesaver.
Funded by the Railway Association of Canada and Transport Canada, we remain the only public education program dedicated to improving rail safety in Canada. And our mission is the same today as the day we were formed: preventing rail incidents that result in needless loss of life and injuries.
Our goal is to create safety-conscious attitudes toward railways, promote safe driving skills, and encourage Canadians to adhere to railway signs and warnings—because we know this will result in fewer collisions and trespassing incidents, and fewer lives lost.
We continue to see the results of these efforts. Even with increased train traffic and more vehicles on the road, the number of deaths and injuries along Canada’s railways is dropping. But we believe our job will not be done until there are no numbers to report.