A new collaboration between Operation Lifesaver (OL) Canada and Google Maps
is tapping into the power of technology to help keep Canadians safe on the roads. Drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists using the Google Maps app (version 5.57 or higher for iOS and 10.68 or higher for Android) will now see a rail crossing icon alerting them to upcoming crossings, and encouraging them to approach with caution.
“Many Canadians rely on Google Maps to navigate their communities, so we’re delighted to have collaborated with Google on this important project to help save lives,” says Sarah Mayes, National Director of OL Canada. “We’re hopeful that when Canadians see a Google Maps rail crossing alert they’ll be better prepared to stop and obey all railway warning signs and signals before proceeding through any crossing.”
The new tool was developed using data from the Canadian Rail Atlas, the Railway Association of Canada’s interactive map of the country’s nearly 43,000-kilometre railway network.
Working together to keep drivers safe
It’s not the first time that OL Canada has collaborated with a technology company in an attempt to save lives. We’ve been advocating for technology companies to incorporate rail crossing alerts into their navigation applications since 2017. Thanks to a partnership with OL, Waze
first began alerting drivers to rail crossings through its app in April 2020.
Initiatives like these will go a long way towards preventing rail tragedies. Every year, dozens of Canadians lose their lives or are seriously injured in preventable train-vehicle and train-pedestrian collisions at railway crossings.
We all have a role to play in reducing the number of rail-related deaths and injuries in Canada. Every single incident is a tragedy and is devastating for the individuals involved, their friends and family, railway employees, first responders, and communities. OL is grateful to Google for adding rail crossing alerts to its navigation app in an effort to #STOPTrackTragedies. Please help us spread the word about the new Google Maps
feature — it could save a life.