First Operation Lifesaver Safety Week Announced

OTTAWA - Public safety campaign Operation Lifesaver and its partners will launch their first national Public-Rail Safety Awareness Week on April 28th to help reduce crossing collisions and trespassing incidents along Canada's railways in communities across the country.

Transport Minister David Collenette said: "Although railway accident rates and crossing fatalities in Canada have reached their lowest levels in 10 years, we are always striving to improve rail safety. That is why Transport Canada supports the important public awareness campaigns led by Operation Lifesaver and Direction 2006. Transport Canada and its partners will continue to work together to improve safety awareness."

"The extra effort is being organized to raise public awareness of the dangers associated with trying to race a train to a crossing or take a shortcut through a working rail yard. If it's a tie, you lose," said National OL Director Dan Di Tota. The week officially runs until May 4th, and will include a host of events and activities

Operation Lifesaver, a national public safety program sponsored by Transport Canada and the Railway Association of Canada, works in partnership with provincial safety councils, police, unions, railways and community groups

The program already has an excellent track record, and has helped to reduce crossing collisions and trespasser incidents by some 60 per cent since OL's inception some 20 years ago. Direction 2006 has broadened the partnership, conducted research and introduced new educational and public information resources, tools and technology to cut crossing collisions and trespassing incidents in half by the end of 2006.

Last year, 95 people were killed and 62 seriously injured along the tracks in Canada.

The special week will include crossing blitzes, Officer on the Train initiatives, mock collision scenarios, broadcast of radio and television public service announcements, OL presentations by volunteers in schools, mall displays, media interviews, conferences and speeches to community groups.

Contact Information:

Roger Cameron
Railway Association of Canada

Cathy Cossaboom
Transport Canada


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