OTTAWA / WASHINGTON, D.C – Operation Lifesaver Canada and Operation Lifesaver Inc. have joined forces to launch a new rail-safety public-awareness campaign to mark the first joint Rail Safety Week in North America, September 23 – 29, 2018.
The campaign, called #STOPTrackTragedies, features seven videos, each telling the personal stories of people affected by rail crossing or trespassing incidents — including victims, friends and family members, locomotive engineers, and first responders. One video will be released each day over the course of Rail Safety Week, and the full campaign can be viewed at stoptracktragedies.ca
Canada has marked its annual Rail Safety Week in April for more than 15 years, while the U.S. held its first Rail Safety Week in September 2017. Aligning the two countries’ Rail Safety Week dates in 2018 will enable a more coordinated – and impactful – North American rail-safety campaign, according to the not-for-profit rail safety organizations.
Every year, 2,100 North Americans are killed or seriously injured when they engage in unsafe behavior around tracks and trains. Operation Lifesaver – which operates in the U.S. and Canada – works to prevent these needless incidents from happening.
“Our goal with #STOPTrackTragedies is to drive home the message that an unsafe decision made in a split second – whether it’s to go around a lowered gate at a rail crossing, or to trespass on the tracks – can have devastating consequences for you, your loved ones and members of your community,” said Sarah Mayes, National Director of Operation Lifesaver Canada.
“The new #STOPTrackTragedies campaign is intended to underscore the importance of the Rail Safety Week message – raising awareness across North America of the need for rail safety education to empower people to keep themselves safe near highway-rail grade crossings and railroad rights-of-way, and when using rail public transportation systems,” said OLI Interim President Wende Corcoran. We are proud to work with our rail safety partners at Operation Lifesaver Canada to save lives through this important initiative.”
In Canada the #STOPTrackTragedies campaign will be promoted through advertisements on social media (Facebook and Twitter), in commuter papers, and through digital billboard ads in 14 communities across Canada. OL’s railway partners will also be holding rail safety outreach events across the country, including a national Rail Safety Week launch event hosted by Metrolinx in partnership with OL today at 10:00 a.m. in the York Concourse of Toronto’s Union Station.
“Operation Lifesaver has the important mission of keeping Canadians safe around railways. The #STOPTrackTragedies campaign will help reach a wide spectrum of people, especially young people, who will get life-saving messages through the stories we’re telling," said George Bell, Vice President, Safety & Security for Metrolinx, and Chair of Operation Lifesaver Canada’s Board of Directors.
“The Government of Canada’s Rail Safety Improvement Program provides grants and contributions to support organizations like Operation Lifesaver, which raises awareness about rail safety issues,” said the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport.
“Canada has one of the safest rail transportation systems in the world as a result of shared efforts between many partners, including governments, railway companies and communities. The #STOPTrackTragedies campaign provides an important reminder not to trespass on train tracks, not to drive around lowered gates at rail crossings, and to always be aware of one’s surroundings near train tracks.”
Visitors to stoptracktragedies.ca
are asked to join OL’s campaign by sharing the videos and other messaging on social media using the hashtags #STOPTrackTragedies and #RSW2018. They can also start conversations about rail safety with their friends, family and community members by sharing the #STOPTrackTragedies e-card available on stoptracktragedies.ca
About Operation Lifesaver Canada
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 rail crossings and trespassing on railway property. Canadians can follow OL Canada on Facebook
, and keep up-to-date on the latest rail safety news by visiting operationlifesaver.ca
About Operation Lifesaver, Inc.
Operation Lifesaver is a non-profit public safety education and awareness organization dedicated to reducing collisions, fatalities and injuries at highway-rail crossings and preventing trespassing on or near railroad tracks. A national network of trained volunteers gives free presentations on rail safety and a public awareness campaign, “See Tracks? Think Train!”
provides the public with tips and statistics to encourage safe behavior near the tracks. Learn more at oli.org;
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