September 23, 2019
OTTAWA – Operation Lifesaver (OL) Canada today unveiled five moving videos to mark the beginning of Rail Safety Week (September 23-29, 2019), and to remind Canadians that taking risks near railway tracks and trains could cost them a limb, or their life.
The videos are the latest addition to OL’s #STOPTrackTragedies campaign, first launched in 2018. Each video tells the story of someone personally affected by a rail crossing or trespassing incident — including victims, friends and family members, locomotive engineers, and first responders. The full campaign is available at stoptracktragedies.ca.
Every year, approximately 2,100 North Americans are seriously injured or killed when they engage in unsafe behaviour around tracks and trains. Operation Lifesaver – which operates in Canada and the U.S. – works to prevent these needless incidents from happening.
“Our goal with #STOPTrackTragedies is to show that making an unsafe decision around railway tracks and trains – whether it’s to play on railway equipment, use tracks as a shortcut, or even glance at your cellphone at a crossing – can have devastating consequences for you, your loved ones and members of your community,” said Sarah Mayes, National Director of Operation Lifesaver Canada.
“Railway tracks are for trains. Please help prevent track tragedies by staying clear of railway tracks and teaching children to do the same. Help us ensure that everyone goes home safely every day,” said George Bell, Vice President, Safety & Security for Metrolinx, and Chair of Operation Lifesaver Canada’s Board of Directors.
OL’s railway partners will be holding public outreach events across the country this week to promote the #STOPTrackTragedies campaign and the importance of rail safety. This will begin with OL’s national Rail Safety Week launch event and decal unveiling in Kamloops, B.C. later today, delivered in close collaboration with CP, Rocky Mountaineer, and the City of Kamloops. This will be followed by two additional rail-safety decal unveilings tomorrow — one delivered in partnership with CN and the City of Cambridge, Ont., and the other by Cape Breton and Nova Scotia Railway and the Town of New Glasgow, N.S. These events will be followed by two days of pedestrian outreach on Ottawa’s Sparks Street Mall (on September 24th and 25th) to raise rail-safety awareness around the launch of the city’s new light-rail system.
On September 24th and 25th, OL’s law enforcement partners will also join the Rail Safety Week campaign. Seventeen Canadian police departments will participate in Operation Clear Track — the single largest rail safety law enforcement initiative in North America. Over two days, law enforcement personnel will work to enforce rail crossing and trespassing laws, and distribute rail safety tip sheets to drivers, pedestrians and cyclists across the country.
Canadians are encouraged to support OL’s Rail Safety Week campaign by heeding these rail safety tips, by following OL Canada on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and by sharing OL’s rail safety messages with their loved ones using #STOPTrackTragedies and #RSW2019. They can also explore a new educational video game launched by CP for Rail Safety Week 2019 through its RailSense program, by visiting cprailsense.ca.
“Incidents can happen in a split-second and can have tragic and far-reaching consequences for your family, friends and community. Rail safety requires 24/7 vigilance, and CP asks that everyone think about their safety around railway property. We continue to focus education and enforcement efforts towards building communities of rail safety ambassadors young and old. Just like how we speak to children about safely crossing the street, everyone should know how to interact safely with railway property and equipment.”
Chief, CP Police Service
“At Rocky Mountaineer, we have a culture of safety that permeates all we do, whether on the train, in the railyard, or at our stations and offices. We are incredibly proud to partner on Rail Safety Week to bring much needed attention to the importance of being aware of, and adhering to, safe activities when on and near the railways.”
Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Rocky Mountaineer
“At CN, safety is a core value and we are pleased to collaborate again this year with Operation Lifesaver Canada to prevent track tragedies. Rail safety is a shared responsibility and this message is particularly important during Rail Safety Week as CN will launch a campaign to raise awareness about rail safety in the communities in which it operates. By working together, the industry, communities, and individuals can ensure everyone’s safety on and around railroad infrastructure.”
Stephen Covey, Chief of Police and Chief Security Officer, CN
“The City of Kamloops is proud to partner with CP and CN, our national railways, to promote and improve rail safety in and around our city. Our partnership dates back over 100 years, and we look forward to another century of safe and efficient transportation of goods through our city, strengthening our economy and the economy of the nation.”
Mayor, City of Kamloops