2004 Operation Lifesaver Safety Week Announced
OTTAWA - Public safety campaign Operation Lifesaver and its partners will launch their 2004 national Rail Safety Public Awareness Week on April 26. The aim of the week is to help reduce crossing collisions and trespassing incidents along Canada’s railways in communities across the country.
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, the trucking industry, and community groups.
"Although highway/railway crossing collisions and trespassing incidents have fallen to their lowest levels in more than a decade, we are always striving to further enhance railway safety in Canada,” said Transport Minister Tony Valeri.
"That is why Transport Canada supports this important public awareness campaign led by Operation Lifesaver,” added Mr. Valeri. “Transport Canada will continue to work with its partners to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities that occur every year at Canada's highway/railway crossings."
National Operation Lifesaver Director Dan Di Tota said: “We first launched this extra effort last spring to raise public awareness of the dangers associated with trying to race a train to a crossing or from taking a shortcut through a working rail yard. If the initiative saves one life, it helps achieve our objective.”
The program already has an excellent track record, and has helped to reduce crossing collisions and trespasser incidents by some 60 per cent since Operation Lifesaver’s introduction to Canada in 1981.
“Last year, there were 72 fatalities and 72 serious injuries involving the public along the railway tracks in Canada. Virtually all were avoidable with due caution,” said Mr. Di Tota.
The week officially runs until May 2, and will include numerous local events and activities across Canada including crossing blitzes, Officer on the Train initiatives, mock collision scenarios, broadcast of radio and television public service announcements, Operation Lifesaver presentations by volunteers in schools, mall displays, media interviews, conferences and speeches to community groups.
Railway Association of Canada
Dan Di Tota
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