2005 Operation Lifesaver Safety Week

High school students from Mont Joli, Quebec will dramatize a mock school bus collision with a freight train, police officers will blitz motorists at highway/ railway crossings across the country and an officer on the Train initiative in Richmond , B.C. will help Operation Lifesaver and its partners publicize safety along Canada 's railways next week. The 2005 national Rail Safety Public Awareness Week kicks off on April 25.

Operation Lifesaver is a national public safety program sponsored by Transport Canada and the Railway Association of Canada. It works with provincial safety councils, police, unions, railways, the trucking industry, and community groups to help reduce crossing collisions and trespassing incidents along Canada 's railways in communities across the country.

"Highway/railway crossing collisions have fallen to their lowest level in more than a decade, but trespassing incidents have taken a recent, surprising turn for the worse,” said federal Transport Minister Jean-C. Lapierre.

"That is why Transport Canada continues to support this important public awareness initiative,” added Mr. Lapierre. “We will continue to work with our partners to reduce the number of unnecessary injuries and fatalities that occur every year."

National Operation Lifesaver Director Dan Di Tota said: “We launched this extra effort in 2003 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 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 92 fatalities and 84 serious injuries in 336 collisions 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 1, and will include numerous local events and activities across Canada including Officer on the Train initiatives, 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.

Contact Information:

Roger Cameron
Railway Association of Canada

Cathy Cossaboom
Transport Canada

Dan Di Tota
Operation Lifesaver


Click here to download the Announcement in PDF ( 19 KB )
Click here to download the Poster in JPEG ( 217 KB )
Click here to download the Schedule in PDF ( 103 KB )