Walking your dog on or near tracks can be deadly

Walking your dog is a great way to escape the confines of your house. And with the rising number of Canadians adopting “pandemic puppies,” there are more people out walking their dogs these days. Although there are plenty of safe places to take a walk with your dog, railway tracks aren’t one of them.
In February, a 13-year-old boy was hit by a train while walking his dog in the town of Springwater, north of Toronto. The boy died, while his dog survived. In March, an 18-year-old man who was walking his dog on tracks was also hit and killed by a train in Pointe-aux-Trembles, in east-end Montreal. His dog also died in the incident.
Tragedies like these can be prevented—if dog owners stay clear of tracks.
Walking your dog on or near tracks can be deadly

Don’t let your next dog-walk end in tragedy. Keep yourself and Fido safe by following these simple rail-safety rules:
  • Don’t walk on railway tracks. Railway tracks are private property―you’re trespassing if you walk on them. Only cross tracks at designated crossings and obey all railway warning signs and signals.
  • Never assume tracks are abandoned. Even if train tracks look like they’re not in use, it doesn’t mean they’re inactive. Often, tracks that have been deactivated can also be reactivated without warning.
  • Don’t walk next to tracks. Trains overhang the tracks by at least a metre in both directions; straps or other equipment may extend even further. If you’re in the right-of-way next to the tracks, you could be hit.
  • Keep your dog on a leash. Dogs don’t understand the risks that railway tracks and trains can pose. Never let them off-leash when near tracks.

For other tips on how to keep safe around railway crossings, tracks and trains, check out our resource page