CN kicks off Target Zero campaign with goal of reducing railway crossing and trespassing accidents to zero
CN News Release: Rail Safety Week starts today
MONTREAL, April 27, 2009 — CN (TSX: CNR) (NYSE: CNI) today marked the launch of Rail Safety Week, from April 27 to May 3, 2009, by announcing intensive efforts to prevent trespassing and railway crossing accidents with the ultimate goal of reducing them to zero. The railway's Target Zero public awareness campaign kicks off this week with CN Police officers out in full force, conducting their annual safety blitz operations at railway crossings and commuter stations in about 180 locations across Canada and the United States. They will alert motorists and pedestrians to the importance of safety at crossings and warn them about the dangers of trespassing.
In 2008, there were 287 accidents that resulted in 56 serious injuries and 73 fatalities in Canada in railway grade crossing and trespassing incidents*. CN is relentless and will not be satisfied until the numbers of injuries and fatalities are at zero. Target Zero has a clear objective: Zero accidents, Zero injuries and Zero fatalities.
CN Police Chief Serge Meloche said: “CN Police will continue educating adults and children about safety at railway crossings and tracks and will aggressively enforce the law. There are still too many accidents and an unacceptable number of injuries and deaths. Target Zero is our goal and we will not tolerate people disobeying crossing signals/gates or trespassing on railway property. Our goal is to use education, prevention and enforcement until the numbers of accidents, serious injuries and fatalities reach zero.”
There are approximately 55,000 public, private and pedestrian railway crossings in Canada. Close to 50 per cent of collisions between vehicles and trains occur at crossings with active warning devices (gates, lights and/or bells). In 2008, there were 214 accidents at railway crossings that resulted in 22 serious injuries and 26 fatalities.
Trespassing includes walking, playing or running on or beside railway tracks; driving a bike, a car, an ATV, a snowmobile or any other vehicle on or beside railway tracks; taking a shortcut across railway tracks or property; and entering railway yards at any time. In 2008, there were 73 trespassing accidents that resulted in 20 serious injuries and 47 fatalities. The consequences of trespassing incidents are extremely worrisome since more than 90 per cent of them result in serious injuries or fatalities.
CN Police asks the public to contact them immediately at 1-800-465-9239 if they see someone disobeying the signals at a railway crossing or trespassing on tracks or railway property.
Rail Safety Week was created in 2003 by Operation Lifesaver and its partners to raise public awareness of the potential dangers at highway/railway crossings and from trespassing on railway property.
CN has been promoting railway safety for more than 25 years through its All Aboard for Safety community education program. Every year, CN Police officers make hundreds of All Aboard for Safety presentations and talk to more than 300,000 children and adults at schools and community events in Canada and the United States about the importance of safety and the dangers of walking and playing on or near railway tracks. Part of the strength of this program is the collaborative relationship with major community safety partners: Operation Lifesaver, Safe Kids Canada, Safe Communities Canada, SMARTRISK and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).
CN – Canadian National Railway Company and its operating railway subsidiaries – spans Canada and mid-America, from the Atlantic and Pacific oceans to the Gulf of Mexico, serving the ports of Vancouver, Prince Rupert, B.C., Montreal, Halifax, New Orleans, and Mobile, Ala., and the key metropolitan areas of Toronto, Buffalo, Chicago, Detroit, Duluth, Minn./Superior, Wis., Green Bay, Wis., Minneapolis/St. Paul, Memphis, St. Louis, and Jackson, Miss., with connections to all points in North America. For more information on CN, visit the company’s website at www.cn.ca.
(Statistics: Transportation Safety Board of Canada)
British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba
Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick