Rail Safety Week On Track
Ottawa -- Operation Lifesaver, in cooperation with Transport Canada and the Railway Association of Canada and their partners, will begin the 2007 Rail Safety Week on April 23, a national and annual effort to promote safe decisions around highway-railway crossings and operations.
“We are very excited to be kicking off the annual Rail Safety Week,” said Dan Di Tota, Operation Lifesaver national director. “Railway safety is a very important message to bring to Canadians and we have seen first-hand how Canadians can make a difference.”
In 2006, crossing collisions decreased from 269 in 2005 to 249, said Mr. Di Tota, adding that since 1981, railway crossing collisions have decreased more than 60 per cent. However, trespassing incidents increased by 9.6 per cent from 2005 to 2006.
“With the exception an increase in year-over-year trespassing incidents, we have seen significant strides made over the years to prevent these accidents,” Mr. Di Tota said. “But our work is not done, and almost all of these incidents can be avoided with the right education and personal caution.”
More than 180 communities will be involved with this year’s Rail Safety Week, reflecting the importance of the railways and municipalities working together to address safety issues. As railway operations and community expansion get closer together, it has become increasingly more important to cooperate and assist one another in safety initiatives.
“The involvement with so many communities highlights the strong commitment in Canada to work towards a safe railway industry,” said Hon. Lawrence Cannon, federal minister of transport, infrastructure and communities. “The railway industry has a strong history of positive work with Canadian communities, and there is no more important cause than public safety. If the railway industry and Canadian communities continue to work together on these initiatives, there is no telling what we can achieve.”
Rail Safety Week will include a number of different events, including mock collisions, the official unveiling of Operation Lifesaver interactive kiosks, and the playing of railway safety public service announcements across Canada. The Cape Breton Screaming Eagles of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League will be participating in railway safety announcements throughout the week, and several announcements will be made by politicians across Canada about the importance of railway safety. Crossing blitzes and trespass enforcement will take place at several locations across Canada, as well as dangerous goods training for emergency responders and railway open houses.
Dan Di Tota
Railway Association of Canada
Click here to download the Calendar of Events in PDF ( 267 KB )