September 23, 2021
OTTAWA – Every year, dozens of Canadians are killed or seriously injured in collisions at railway crossings. Today, as part of Rail Safety Week (September 20-26, 2021), Operation Lifesaver (OL) Canada is pleased to announce that an additional 29 communities across the country have joined its “Look. Listen. Live.” Community Safety Partnership Program as a way to prevent these senseless tragedies from happening.
This national initiative encourages municipalities to install rail safety decals on the pavement near select railway crossings. Each bright yellow decal features a silhouette of a train as well as OL’s rail safety motto: “Look. Listen. Live.” The decals help to alert pedestrians, cyclists and motorists of the need for caution around railway crossings—with the aim of preventing tragic crossing incidents from happening.
“This program is a way for us to work with municipalities to help make the public more aware of the hazards associated with tracks and trains,” explains Sarah Mayes, National Director, Operation Lifesaver Canada. “The decals act as a constant reminder to residents that they need to be extra vigilant around railway crossings. It’s all about saving lives.”
The first decals were installed in Vancouver, BC, in 2018. Since then, 69 communities have signed onto the program. In the coming days, 145 rail safety decals will be unveiled in 29 communities from Wetaskiwin, AB, to Halifax, NS.
One of the newest communities to join the program is a town that knows all too well the importance of exercising vigilance around rail crossings: Weyburn, SK. In August 2018, 16-year-old Kailynn Bursic-Panchuk died after her car was hit by a train at a level crossing outside of Weyburn. Kailynn had been using her phone’s GPS to navigate and didn’t see or hear the train coming. Her tragic story is the subject of one of OL’s poignant #STOPTrackTragedies campaign videos.
The Community Safety Partnership Program is just one of the many ways that OL Canada is working with communities across the country to prevent tragedies like Kailynn’s from occurring. Municipalities can find out more or apply for the Community Safety Partnership Program by visiting OL’s website.
Operation Lifesaver Canada is a national public rail-safety program sponsored by Transport Canada, the Railway Association of Canada and its members, including CN, CP, VIA Rail, Metrolinx, exo, West Coast Express and Genesee & Wyoming, among others. Through its national network of Rail Safety Ambassadors, partnerships with safety councils, police, the trucking industry and community groups, and innovative tools such as its virtual-reality Look. Listen. Live. campaign, Operation Lifesaver Canada works to save lives by educating Canadians about the hazards of trespassing on railway property and failing to exercise caution at rail crossings. Canadians can keep up-to-date on the latest rail safety news by visiting operationlifesaver.ca.