Canadian Youth Get Involved In Rail Safety with Operation Lifesaver's 'OFF THE RAILS' Safety Contest

OTTAWA, April 30, 2012 – Operation Lifesaver, the nation's dedicated non-profit organization focused on preventing accidents associated with train collisions with motor vehicles and trespassing on rail property, today announced the winners of its OFF THE RAILS (OTR) public safety contest as part of Public-Rail Safety Week.

The OTR contest challenged youth between the ages of 11-to-14-years old (grade 7 and 8 students) to create a rail safety message urging their peers to stay off the rails. The contest was nation-wide and included four submission categories: print English, print French, multimedia English and multimedia French.

Working in teams of two or more and under the supervision of a 'champion' (adult supervisor), youth were encouraged to have fun creating rail-safety messages that would resonate with their peers. The contest's by-youth-for-youth focus embodies the belief that every Canadian has the ability to make a difference and that spreading rail-safety knowledge among peers is an effective contributor in establishing 'safety-first' attitudes among youth.
In OFF THE RAILS inaugural year, Operation Lifesaver was please to receive over 30 submissions from across Canada. Youth put their artistic and creative talents to work in developing posters, videos and comic strips that articulated the essential rail safety facts that all Canadians should know. The winning submissions can be seen at

"Operation Lifesaver would like to thank all the youth who participated in our first OFF THE RAILS contest and for their active engagement in spreading the word about rail safety," said Dan Di Tota, National Director, Operation Lifesaver. "The old adage - a picture is worth a thousand words - holds true with rail safety and the submissions this year were nothing short of inspiring in both their artistic creativity and focus on the key information that all youth should possess to stay safe around rail crossings and properties. We look forward to next year's contest and judging a brand new wave of entries from Canada's youth."

Finalists were selected in each category by a panel of judges, with winners determined by online voting that was completed by February 29, 2012.

The entries receiving the most votes in each category were:

Print English

  • The Exacts  with 1,120 votes (Mississauga, Ontario)
  • Blah Blah with 888 votes (Kanata, Ontario)
  • Stay Away and Stay Alive with 688 votes (Grand Bay-Westfield, New Brunswick)

English Multimedia

  • SafetyRox411 with 917 votes (from Markham, Ontario)
  • Get Off and Stay Off with 732 votes (from Milton, Ontario)
  • Team P.R.U.N.E.S with 595 votes (from Kanata ON)

Print French

  • Barcelone! with 436 votes  (Kingston, Ontario)
  • Les Violets with 412 votes (Kingston, Ontario)
  • Je suis un chat, oui je suis with 69 votes (Kingston, Ontario)

French Multimedia

  • Train Franco-Ontarien went uncontested to garner top spot (Sudbury, Ontario)

OFF THE RAILS awarded four grand prizes of $2,000 and six secondary prizes of $500.

About Public-Rail Safety Week

Public-Rail Safety Week is a nation-wide, community-level initiative, occurring this year between April 30th and May 6th, which includes crossing blitzes, mock collisions, public service announcements, and presentations to schools, youth clubs, drivers associations and community groups in an effort to raise public awareness of rail safety.  To learn more about Public-Rail Safety Week please visit:

About Operation Lifesaver

Established in Canada in 1981, Operation Lifesaver is a national public-rail safety program sponsored by Transport Canada and the Railway Association of Canada. Through partnerships with provincial safety councils, police, railways, the trucking industry and community groups, Operation Lifesaver is dedicated to saving lives by educating Canadians about the hazards surrounding highway/railway crossings and trespassing on railway property.

For more information please contact:

Rob Mclean
Media Relations, Operation Lifesaver

Dan Di Tota
National Director, Operation Lifesaver

Paul Goyette
Railway Association of Canada