September 24, 2020
Ottawa– Every year, dozens of Canadians are killed or seriously injured in collisions at railway crossings. In fact, there were 174 such incidents in Canada in 2019, which killed 28 people and seriously injured another 29. Sadly, virtually all these tragedies are preventable.
Today, as part of Rail Safety Week (September 21-27, 2020), Operation Lifesaver Canada is pleased to announce that 125 rail-safety decals are being unveiled in 30 communities across the country as part of OL’s “Look. Listen. Live.” Community Safety Partnership Program.
Through the program, OL works with municipalities to identify locations where bright yellow and black rail-safety decals can be installed near railway crossings. Each decal features a black silhouette of a train, as well as the words “Look. Listen. Live.”—OL’s important rail-safety message. The goal of the decals is simple: to prevent tragic crossing incidents by making pedestrians, cyclists and drivers more aware of the need to be extra vigilant around railway crossings.
“Incidents at railway crossings are tragically common across this country, and each one affects the victim’s family and friends, as well as railway employees, first responders and broader communities,” said Sarah Mayes, National Director of Operation Lifesaver Canada. "This program aims to make the public more aware of the hazards around rail crossings, which will hopefully save lives. We want people to slow down, look in both directions, listen for approaching trains, and obey all railway warning signs and signals.”
Vancouver, B.C., and London, Ont., became the first Canadian cities to sign onto the Community Safety Partnership Program in 2018, and were swiftly followed by seven more municipalities in 2019. OL is delighted that more than two dozen additional municipalities ― from Chilliwack to Fredericton Junction and Saskatoon to Kingston ― have now joined the program by installing decals in their communities.
“Rail safety is a shared responsibility, and we’re pleased that so many communities have recognized that and chosen to join forces with us through the Community Safety Partnership Program,” said Mayes. “We hope to build on the program’s momentum, and work with even more municipalities to spread the rail-safety message and save lives.”
Municipalities can obtain more information about the Community Safety Partnership Program by visiting OL’s website. OL also recently unveiled a free toolkit for communities to use in promoting rail safety to their residents; it’s available at operationlifesaver.ca.