If you are driving the “back roads” this summer, take extra care
Almost half of all railway-related deaths and injuries happen at railway crossings. Many of these incidents occur at “passive” rail crossings, which are common in rural Canada. These crossings don’t have gates or lights or bells to warn of approaching trains, so drivers need to be extra vigilant. Rural crossings can also have uneven grades, or humps which can cause cars or trucks to bottom out—putting them at risk of being hit by an oncoming train.
This summer, there have already been a number of tragic train-vehicle collisions at rural crossings across Canada. On the July long weekend, two young men were killed
near Woodstock, ON, when their car was hit by a train and pushed down the track.
Preventing tragedies at rural crossings
Following some basic rules can help prevent tragedies from happening. As you approach a rural railway crossing:
- slow down
- look both ways and listen for oncoming trains before crossing the tracks
- turn off your radio and roll down your windows so you can hear better
- make sure you can clear the tracks on the other side before crossing
If a train is coming:
- don’t race a train to the crossing
- stop at least five metres from the nearest rail or gate
- don't cross the track until you're sure all trains have passed in both directions and on all tracks
Remember, trains can’t swerve or stop quickly—so keep yourself safe and out of their path.
You can find more rail safety tips on our website.